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|2387: St Andrew's,
Kokomo, Indiana, USA
Worshipper: William Dewy.
Andrew's, Kokomo, Indiana, USA.
Episcopal Church, Diocese
of Northern Indiana.
A blend of old and new. The present edifice has evolved from
buildings constructed in 1911 (moved from its original site
across town) 1925, and 1948. The whole was completed by about
1952. The lobby area can be entered from front (steps) or back
(also steps, but also a substantial elevator that I didnít notice
being used). Like many older buildings, it has several levels,
making it difficult to get around unless you are able-bodied.
I found the circa 1960s stained glass unusual because, aside
from St Andrew and a few other panes, I didnít recognize many
symbols. A document on the churchís website explains that the
paired windows in the nave depict Old Testament promises and
New Testament fulfillments. The images in the glass also reminded
me of Marvel Comics illustrations.
Thereís plenty of opportunity for involvement. There are groups
for acolytes and readers, education and personal devotion, landscaping,
public relations, and even a Mah Jongg league. Members of the
parish are involved in a variety of community service projects,
including Kokomo Urban Outreach and Coordinated Assistance Ministries
(CAM), a day shelter that helps clients in finding employment
and social services.
Kokomo is a city in central Indiana, named after a Miami Indian
chief whose name means "black walnut." Kokomo calls
itself "the City of Firsts" due to the genius of native
son and inventor Elwood Haynes, who in 1894 pioneered one of
the first internal combustion automobile engines and in 1912
invented stainless steel flatware. Other "firsts"
born in Kokomo were the pneumatic rubber tire (1894), canned
tomato juice (1928), and the push-button car radio (1934). The
first restaurant in the national chain of Ponderosa Steak Houses
was opened in Kokomo in 1968. On the darker side, Kokomo was
host in 1923 to the largest Ku Klux Klan gathering in history.
St Andrew's Church is located downtown in the Old Silk Stocking
Neighborhood, home to several carefully preserved late 19th
century mansions in the Victorian and other styles.
The Revd Richard Lightsey, rector, was celebrant and preacher.
Lay eucharistic ministers, readers and other people who served
were listed in the weekly bulletin.
The date & time:
Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012, 11.11am.
What was the name of the service?
Alternative Service Ė Rite III.
How full was the building?
Thirty-five people were present.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
One man waved as we drove into the parking lot. The rector greeted us and welcomed us to the parish several minutes before the service; he introduced us to a parishioner or two and invited us to have coffee in the fellowship hall before the service began.
Was your pew comfortable?
The standard wooden pew with fold-down kneeler was comfortable.
How would you describe the pre-service
The musicians were warming up by singing and playing. Consequently,
the visiting or chatting before the service was fairly loud.
A woman in the back of the church was pinning flame-shaped red
felt cut-outs on peopleís clothing.
What were the exact opening words of the
What books did the congregation use during the
There was a service bulletin that included a brief order of
worship and announcements for the week. A separate leaflet with
the lessons was included with the bulletin. Texts of other parts
of the liturgy, including hymns and songs, were projected onto
a screen in the front of the church. The congregation didnít
use the Prayer Book or either hymnal in the pew racks.
What musical instruments were played?
Acoustic guitar with microphone, electric bass guitar, drums,
and miked singers. They played and sang extremely well with
good time and tune and I suppose they reflected the musical
taste of the congregation. They played loudly. I was not uncomfortable
with the volume, but I noticed that many people in the congregation
appeared to be singing but I couldnít hear a bit of it. The
music was entirely unknown to me except for the Sanctus, which
was based on the hymn tune Nicea.
Did anything distract you?
I found a few things distracting. A very young acolyte wearing
a batman t-shirt was lighting rather tall altar candles towering
over his head. A bat came from somewhere during the reading
of the psalm and flew about between the projector and the screen,
giving the impression of multiple bats flying about the nave.
The reading got quietly thin during much of the psalm. My biggest
distraction, though, occurred during the canon of the mass (see
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
It was a happy celebration, but happy clappy wouldnít describe
it. Their website characterizes it as "an upbeat, energized,
and very modern service." The language and music were indeed
modern, but it was more straightforward than I had anticipated.
One odd thing: There was a great copper vat filled with baptismal
water (left over from an earlier service) on a table before
the communion rail. There were also a couple of shallow bowls
containing the oil of catechumens. Toward the end of the sermon,
the rector invited us to take some holy oil and place it on
our foreheads as we approached for communion. I was trying to
think of a precedent for Christians anointing themselves. As
a result, I donít think I was paying as close attention to the
eucharistic action as I would have liked.
Exactly how long was the
On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
8 The rector spoke from the center aisle. He moved a
music stand into place to serve as a lectern, but I believe
he spoke without notes. His fine clear voice was easily understood.
He began by saying that because of the bat's unscheduled appearance,
there would be no sermon. But he went on to preach what I consider
to be one of the best Pentecost sermons I have ever heard!
In a nutshell, what was the sermon
There is a difference between knowing facts intellectually and
being empowered by the Spirit with the epiphany of a "knowing
Which part of the service was like being in
At the end of the service, the projection screen was rolled
up, thus revealing the liturgical east end of the chancel with
its holy hardware and beautiful rose window.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
I appreciate the advantages of the PowerPoint presentation of
the liturgical texts and song lyrics; it certainly saves a great
deal of copying and announcing of pages. The text on the screen,
however, was nearly illegible to me. It was out of focus and
looked like a 3-D movie for which I didnít have the proper spectacles.
It was also dark.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
The band did a bit of de-briefing. Friendly people milled about
looking for where the bat had gone.
How would you describe the after-service
We were offered coffee before the service; there was none offered
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
7 I think I would be more likely to attend the Rite I
or Rite II service.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The positive energy and drive of the musicians, and the brief but uplifting sermon on a major feast.
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