My Congregational Visit

I attended a worship service at New Life Redlands Church. The church identifies as Pentecostal and is vastly different from the Catholic Church I attended as I was growing up. As Pastor Dennis Evangelisto states, “the congregation’s purpose is to “embrace God’s love for your life, live with God’s love to those around you, learn God’s love to be solid, and share God’s love in practical ways”. My church at home claims to “strive to grow in a relationship with God and one another through prayer, sacraments and service”. The difference between these two churches was one that I could compare to the difference in the two churches in my case study book, The Spirit’s Tethered. The more traditional church was more like my church at home and the more casual one was like New Life Redlands.

Sacred Heart Church at home is very much like Our Lady of the Assumption in its traditional aspects, from attire to ritual to beliefs. Meanwhile, New Life Redlands was more like Saint Brigitta, open to social interaction, casual attire, and held more progressive beliefs. At Sacred Heart, religion is more about the ritual and beliefs that are incorporated into the service, whereas New Life is more about the community and welcoming environment that was created by and for the congregation. It is evident that each way is a valid form of religion that caters to the different needs of different people, but both focus on God and His kingdom.