"I'm visiting for the first time. What can I expect?"
You walk into the church from Washington Street after a hearty Sunday brunch. The first thing you notice is an odd and wonderful juxtaposition: everything about the building you are in says “organized,” “staid,” “well-behaved,” “frilly,” and yet the unmistakable rhythm of a drum set and the thrum of an upright bass, speak of something wilder, more uncontainable and mysterious. As you follow the sounds, you meet a smiling usher who hands you a worship bulletin and guides you into the Guild room.
Several things strike you at once. The guild room emulates the home of a beloved grandparent, with comfy stuffed couches and chairs, dark wood trim, white walls, pictures of other beloved "family" members on the walls, with a fireplace and reading nook at one end - but the space has been subverted. The rectangular, formal space is set up in the round, and you walk in on a level with the band and the worship leaders—all of whom, incidentally, are dressed pretty much as you are. The space is dim, lit almost as much by the many candles as by the ornate chandeliers overhead.
You sit down at a card table, someone offers you coffee, and worship begins. The service is structured and yet informal. As the group progresses through ancient rhythms of prayer, teaching, and song, people move about the room at will, getting up when moved to light a candle, or to refill their coffee, tea, or hot coco.
The service is participatory: you are invited to call your prayers out during prayer time, to talk back during the sermon (which more readily resembles an interview), and to celebrate an Agape Feast together. The old stories are made new through intimate, eclectic, full-body worship. The music is a combination of jazzed-up church music and straight jazz reinterpreted by its "churchy" context. After the service, the worshipers gather for conversations with the musicians and the pastor or, for visitors, a tour of the church. You head out relaxed, challenged, Spirit-filled, ready.
Sound like your Sunday cup of 'jo? Then come, let the Jazz Sanctuary house band and the Holy Spirit be your guides as you seek to freshen a long-held faith or go deeper with a new one.
Full Length Audio Recordings of Worship Services
Upcoming Event: “Mental Health, Spiritual Health, and The Jazz of Being Fully Alive" Sunday, May 15th - 1:00 PM In person and on Facebook Live