Hinson Church Visit

I visited Hinson Church in Portland, Oregon this morning. Karl Bastian has some nice photos of the building and the people of the church. It requires a bit of scrolling but is worthwhile.

The church building is historic. The outside gives the impression of an ancient stone structure. The inside has been modernized but retains elegant historical elements, such as a curved balcony, curved wooden pews with straight backs. A stained glass mural served as a backdrop for the stage. It depicted an image of Jesus leading a flock of sheep. Other smaller stained glass images encircled the balcony level walls.

Two flags hung on either side of the auditorium, one american and the other mexican. As I perused the bulletin, I discovered that the mexican flag was present as a visual reminder to pray for one of their missionaries to that country. Apparently they change the flag to a new country periodically to cover a variety of missionary prayer needs around the world.

The official greeters were present at each entrance outside the building and showed genuine friendliness. I got the impression they would have been friendly without their official tags too, and that is a good thing. After being directed inside I made my way into the auditorium. It looked as though it could seat about 800 people, possibly more. It was less than half full for the second service. People dressed casually and it was primarily homogenous (caucasian) in terms of ethnicity, although there were a few african american folks.

Worship consisted of a few songs with two acoustic guitars, a flute, a piano and a keyboard. No drums. There was prayer and a commissioning service for a young lady who is traveling to Peru for a short term mission trip.

Children remained with their parents throughout the song set and then were excused before the sermon began. Given the amout of time reserved for the sermon, roughly one hour, it was apparent that the spoken exposition of the Scripture was the primary focus of the service. The sermon was given by an adult Sunday School teacher. In essence he spoke about doing whatever God is calling us to do, in love and with God’s power, rather than for selfish motives and in our own strength.

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