Sunday, December 31, 2006

Religion Tour #6, Gospel Lighthouse Pentecostal

A few years back, I went to bat for Gospel Lighthouse as they battled the city over an occupancy permit. The jist of it was that GL had the permit already, but the city, led by Mayor Becker, sought to prevent their occupancy, presumably so the property could be sold and turned into riverfront condos. The city probably realized they had no legal, not to mention moral, leg to stand on, so they backed off. GL is located at 6th and Memorial, in the former home of the REAL School.

As for the service, I probably couldn't be more mismatched, insofar as I tend to be something of a detached observer, while the GL congregants were very expressive in their faith. Lots of singing, swaying, amens, etc...

Pastor Ray Christensen gave a talk about a conversation that he had with a curious agnostic. The conversation was going nowhere, apparently, when Pastor Ray changed tactics. Rather than try to win the debate, he talked about the love Jesus (and Pastor Ray) had for the agnostic. Pastor Ray noticed a change in attitude from the agnostic, who seemingly was thirsting for more, according to Pastor Ray's interpretation of the exchange.

I can say that the congregants were quite welcoming. Several shook my hand to introduce themselves. The associate pastor gave me a brief overview of the history of the Pentecostals. I had to leave a bit early to go to work. I would have preferred to stay. I found the music quite nice and the people warm and friendly.

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