|201: Cathedral Church of the King, Olathe, Kansas, USA|
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Mystery Worshipper: Shiny Happy Anglican.
The church: Cathedral Church of the King, Olathe, Kansas, USA.
Denomination: International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church.
The building: A small, plain A-frame church building.
The neighbourhood: A typical blue collar residential neighborhood.
The cast: The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Davidson, Rector and Bishop of the Central Province.
What was the name of the service?
How full was the building?
Mostly full at about 150 people.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Some people said hello as we passed the peace. Also, a young deacon introduced himself and had a very pleasant conversation with me (more on that later).
Was your pew comfortable?
Yes, very comfortable. They were old wooden pews that seemed to be retrofitted for cushioning.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
It was very reverential. There were some people kneeling and praying out of their Books of Common Prayer. And there were others who were sitting in their pews while reciting the rosary. Then about 15 minutes before the service started, the music team sang a couple of contemporary worship choruses.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
A very spirited: "Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
What books did the congregation use during the service?
There was no Book of Common Prayer or Bible. There was, however, the "Cathedral Customary 1998". This seems to be a home-grown conglomeration of the Book of Common Prayer 1979 (Rite 2) and some portions of the Roman Missal. It was adapted to explain some of the charismatic portions of the service, which included hand-raising, clapping and speaking with other tongues.
What musical instruments were played?
Synth, guitar and drums.
Did anything distract you?
There was this very random woman who was twirling about with a sheet on her head during the music. She was in the center aisle and it took everything in me to not start laughing. It seemed quite out of place. I think some of the church members, even, didn't know what to make of her.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
The worship service was a combination of traditional high-church music with some time for contemporary praise and worship choruses. The processional hymn was traditional, but a few minutes later the church was rocking! The young deacon who was on the music team was very enthusiastic and encouraged the church to enter in. He was also visibly moved by the Holy Spirit and began weeping a little later in the service.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
9 the Bishop is an incredible preacher. He remarked a number of times that the sermon was meant for him, too. It was very encouraging to hear that even he isn't perfect!
In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Eternal wisdom can be gleaned from the Book of Proverbs... everything from eternal riches to how to spank your child. It's all in there.
Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The worship time was so moving. The singing was heavenly and inspiring and the people were so receptive to everything that was going on.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The decorating inside the nave was a bit of an eyesore. There were plenty of flags and streamers hanging down the walls, and it was too much to see inside such a small worship area. It was hard to stay focused.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
The young deacon greeted me after the service as I was doing my best to look lost. He was in full clerical attire and I tried to acknowledge that by calling him "deacon," but he politely corrected me by asking me to call him "just J.D." How very refreshing for an Episcopal minister to be so down to earth.
How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Typical church coffee in white styrofoam cups.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
9. The church has a lot of young families with plenty of children to go around. The ministers seem like very real people who care for their parishioners. The bishop was also dressed quite plainly not wearing a cope or mitre, and with no crozier to speak of. All of this was also quite refreshing.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The enthusiastic praise and worship combined with the beauty of the eucharist.