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Bill Samuel

Megachurch? That's defined as 2,000 and up. CRCC has an average attendance of 400, split between two services. Not small, but certainly not mega-church. The nearest Friends Meeting is larger than CRCC.

A Jumbotron is an enormous vacuum flourescent display made by Sony, usually used for large outdoor events. There are no Jumbotrons at Cedar Ridge. There are no screens for projection - things are projected onto the wall (which you can see in the picture).

The introduction to the communion and congregational worship period may be given by a staff member, a Board member or another member of the Church. This varies only slightly week to week, and is quite traditional. In addition to the self-serve communion option, there are also communion servers on either side who offer the bread and juice to worshippers with appropriate words. (For example, when I serve the bread, I usually say, "The body of Christ, broken for you" to each person partaking. Each server decides themselves what to say.) The option of sitting quietly and prayerfully at one's seat is often presented.

The Sunday service is not the church, but one expression of the church. At CRCC, this is emphasized. Our mission is "To be and make disciples in authentic community for the good of the world."

We are just starting our third discipleship series. These are 6-week series in which people are divided into small groups which meet weekly. The current one is entitled "Who Am I?" and is designed to enable each person to examine their history and influences, their spiritual gifts, what is holding them back from being more faithful, and what steps they need to take in order to change. There are exercises for the individual to work through before the group meeting. This requires the participants to look deeply at themselves, and be very vulnerable before others. 250 signed up for this series. I think this reflects the seriousness and commitment of this congregation.

There was something I observed during the service yesterday that I felt captured the heart of Cedar Ridge. During the message time, three people shared very deeply about difficult times in their lives. I noticed one congregant for whom this seemed to bring out her own pain and she was weeping. A woman who had been sitting in front of her came and knelt in front of her, and just held her close for several minutes. After that, another woman sat next to her with her arm around her shoulder and they talked quietly.



Thank you for your comment, and for illuminating aspects of life at CCRC that I did not get the opportunity to see during my brief visit.

I'll own that my use of the phrases "megachurch" and "jumbotron" was a trifle glib. After years of attending religious services where an attendance of 50 and under was the norm, CCRC seems on a whole other level of magnitude.

To the best of my knowledge, I have never been in a church with a live rock band. I have only been inside a church with projections (whether screens or wall) only once. As someone who grew up overseas worshipping with small congregations, then practiced Buddhism in small groups for six years, then attended small Quaker meetings for eight years, CCRC was a very exotic setting for me.

You paint a very compelling picture of life at CCRC, and there's a lot there that appeals to me. While the overall tone of my post was light, I was not attempting to be dismissive of what I encountered a couple of Sundays ago, nor to call into question the commitment, energy, or spirit of the congregation.

Something I neglected to mention in my post was that the pastor said that he would be interested in following up with me to get my impressions of what I encountered at CCRC. I found that extremely encouraging. But while I appreciate and respect much of what I saw at CCRC, the overall experience was not one that spoke to my condition.

Upon reflection, I see that the tenor of my original post was more snarky than jocular. That was not my intent, so I'll probably revise it.


Hi Kevin,
I'm sorry to hear you're not attending Quaker meeting anymore, particularly because I found your posts about it to be so moving.
I gather from your most recent post that you left because of not feeling included--I hope you'll write more about this. I hope, too, that you'll find a spiritual home whether it is with Friends or not.
I'm really glad you're back to this blog, by the way. I've missed reading you! And just so you know, I have a new blog ucbsacredharp.blogspot.com, and I link to you in the sidebar.
In the Light,


Hi Linda,

Thanks very much for your comment. I'll be posting about my conflicted relationship with Quakerism soon. In the meantime, I look forward to checking out your new blog!


If a thing's worth doing, it is worth doing badly.
-- G.K. Chesterton


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