Congregation Presentation

Our most current class assignment has been to visit a local congregation— one that either falls under the sectarian or denominational category— to observe and experience the different religion and church structure of the congregation we chose. For my congregation visit I went to the Loma Linda Indonesian Seventh-Day Adventist Church and it was a really great experience. Overall I noticed that it was formal attire, traditional structure in that men held all the high church positions but their beliefs as well were very traditional. They tended to have more conservative views on matters like abortion and homosexuality which was why it was interesting to hear Ellis’ (another student in the class) experience at a different congregation in which the views were less traditional and conservative. Their presentation was for Christian Science and I thought it was such a great and informative presentation that actually inspired me to go visit this congregation as well. The Christian Science church was smaller and more intimate. Everyone knew each other which fostered a communal feel which made it seemingly easier to engage in conversation about what they were going over in their sermon, but also about the relevant social matters that are happening right now. Christian Science members are traditional in that they have common Christian beliefs, but the main thing is that they believe God heals through prayer so they abstain from medical attention unless needed (but this is also a personal choice). What was surprising to me was that in Ellis’ presentation, there was a bullet point about Christian Science views on queer issues. They were not against it like the church I visited, and it was awesome to hear about the differences and similarities of these two churches, but also of all the other churches people have presented on.