This weekend I went to visit Redlands New Life Church (RNL). Seeing this church after seeing the University United Methodist Church (UUM) was interesting because they were very different churches but had a similar structure to each other. Both were very welcoming churches that focused on fostering community as both had elements where people in the church were able to get together and create shared experiences. The service at University Methodist Church was more formal everyone was dressed formally. Redlands New Life Church was more informal, with those attending wearing jeans and the pastor was wearing a t-shirt and a suit jacket. Both congregations had an emphasis on connecting to God through song but UUM sang more traditional songs from the hymnal along to a piano and guitar, and RNL sang modern songs with a guitar, piano, drum set, and bass. From my observations, both groups connected to the songs in the same way but used very different songs to do so.
This past week in class we have discussed the six socialogical narratives about the future of religion. It is interesting to see the different theories that are presented based on the same studies. Given that everyone is looking at trends that exist in the world and coming up with many different theories based on it. Learning about this has made me see the complexity of the religious landscape that all these trends can be observed. There is no concrete analysis of religion as there are so many different people who all experience religion differently.