Last week was a vacation week, a short break from the intinerant work of our three month home assignment. Amy spent some quality daughter time with her parents in Auburn, NY while I visited with my brother and sister-in-law, Chad and Rebekah, and their children outside Buffalo.
Chad and Rebekah attend Epic Church Buffalo, so on Sunday, I tagged along. One interesting thing about this church is where it meets. They rent out three large rooms at the local movie theatre, one for children, one for teens, and one for the sanctuary. Free donut and coffee in-hand, I made my way into the third room, which was darkened except for the stage lights. Already, the worship band was playing, and 50 people were singing and swaying to the music. (Around 200 would be there by the end). Pastor Mark Rouse preached a sermon on friendship with God and others, set-up with references to “The Goonies.” (The sermon was the first in a four-part series whose themes are suggested by 1980s movies). The sermon was topical, and each point looked at a different supporting passage. When the closing prayer was over, first-time visitors received a free movie pass at the exit.
After the service, lots of people lingered in the lobby, talking and laughing. It was obvious that they’d found a loving Christian community.
Epic Church is a church plant of the Free Methodist Church (North America), a sister denomination to the Church of the Nazarene. Like many new Nazarene churches, Epic does not lead with the name of the denomination. Instead, they lead with Jesus. Later during the membership class, inquirers learn that Epic is part of the Free Methodists.
Pray for Mark and Rebecca Rouse as they lead the pastoral team at Epic Church, that many will come to know Christ and become established in their faith. A movie theatre church? Why not? May the message of the Gospel respect no boundaries in our culture!
Photo credit: Epic Church Buffalo