Congregation Visit #1

For my denominational congregation visit, I attended a service at the Second Baptist Church, located in Redlands. As someone who has only attended Catholic masses, it was an extremely different experience which I enjoyed very much. I was almost overwhelmed at how kind and welcoming everyone was towards me. Many gave me hugs or a hand shake when I said that I was a new visitor. They asked me why I was there and when I told them I was there as part of my Sociology and Religion curriculum they were thrilled. Their way of worshipping was fascinating to observe from a sociological stand point. Live music, dancing, jumping, shouting, and out loud praising were all ways in which they worshipped and worked specifically towards this group because of their cultural similarity. These are aspects that I found appealing because it kept me consistently engaged throughout the 2 hour service, something that I had difficulty with at the Catholic churches that I had attended. I was also able to make several connections between what I observed and what I had been reading in “The Social Context” and “American Religion”. It gave several explanations as to why this congregation functioned in the way that it did. When the service was over, I found myself wanting to come back again and I don’t even consider myself a religious person. Yet the people and sense of community that I felt was powerful. I would encourage any one to attend a service at Second Baptist.