In our quest for a Saturday evening worship service due to our work schedules, we tried my friends, Mark and Sheila Bupp's church in New Castle, PA. I had been invited by their posts on Facebook. My problem, as always, is I work on Saturday afternoons most weeks. But ending my vacation tomorrow, I determined to go and David agreed to go with me.
An old yellow brick church sits on a corner on the south side of New Castle. Driving down I-376 didn't take long, so we arrived early. Greeted with warm hugs from Sheila and Mark set the tone. David admired a painting of a lion head, for his obvious reasons (Lyon- last name- many lion paintings and statuettes at his home growing up). The small interior has been remodeled. White walls surrounded the aisles of comfy gray chairs.
The worship songs were unfamiliar, but we easily caught on to them. The words flashed on the screen, too. The Holy Spirit visited quietly this night. Peace and a hush filled the air.
Gerry Toczek preached. His wife, Chrystal, played the keyboard and sang. After the message, the music washed over our tiredness. The couple met in drama ministry. The year, Mark and I with Katie, took the youth to Fine Arts in Detroit (2010), they all ministered in drama. This was number one thing in common. Then he mentioned he is attending a Methodist church and now once a month has a Spirit filled service there. David's ears picked up. The message was on Christ's DNA in us, talking about our identity. He wrapped it up, by saying how he was adopted, an important personal connection in our family.
The worship continued as Gerry prayed over mostly men who requested prayer. David and I sat in the dim light, quietly soaking in the peace. The time of praying wrapped up, David encouraged Gerry to stay with the Methodists. They need him more than the Assemblies of God. Mark laughed.
Mark told us that each Saturday is different when he invites us back. They gave up on Sunday mornings, as attendance was very low. He and Sheila can visit churches then, too, as with all missionaries, fund raising is important.
We were blessed with this service. I hope to make it back soon. I won't know my schedule until Friday. If you live local and want to try a different worship experience, unrushed, with freedom to linger in the Holy Spirit's presence, I suggest City Reach Church at 1211 Cunningham Ave, New Castle, PA.