Sunday, August 16, 2009

Manhattan: Redeemer Pres

Hunter College

Last Sunday evening I worshipped on the upper East Side with about 500 Christians who make up part of the larger Redeemer Presbyterian Church. It was a delightful service with jazz band accompaniment, a strong female vocalist, a confident worship leader, and a teaching elder who entered the sanctuary moments before delivering the sermon. He also exited immediately afterwards and the service was closed by the unnamed worship leader.

When I left I asked an usher the name of the minister; it was Rev Matthew Paul Buccheri. The usher explained that they never know in advance who will be delivering the message because the session wants to decrease the chances of congregants' attendance based on the teacher.

While the music was definitely more contemporary than what I'm used to or what I prefer, it was well-done and I enjoyed the singing (7 songs all together!), even if I couldnt do it as lustily as I would have like (due to lack of familiarity).

The sermon was expositional: both basic and forthright and followed along in their series about King David (2 Sam 7:1-17).

Visiting churches is not one of my favorite things to do, but I'm definitely glad I went and would attend again.

What about you?

Do you attend church while on vacation (or traveling)?


  1. You know, we prefer worship at our home church where we are comfortable and familiar and "in sync" with the standards and mores.

    But we always visit church while traveling and especially appreciate the opportunity to expose our children to other churches and critique what was great and what was less than great.

    The same Sunday you were enjoying Redeemer we went to a church with two cousins. It wasn't our host cousin's Presbyterian church, it was a church a visiting cousin requested in order to see a former pastor.

    It wasn't pretty. No one ever opened God's Word; the singing was three songs repeated and repeated and repeated again; one man greeted us when we came in the door, otherwise no one else even made eye contact; the "sermon" was a video production. Yikes!

    I needed to use the bathroom (one of those now! situations) and quietly went to the back of the church. I searched to the left and to the right, went downstairs and searched the left and the right for a potty. Finally I went outside and walked around the lawn to behind the front area looking for the restrooms. I found the potty. Then I walked back around the lawn to slip into the back.

    The door. was. locked. So I walked the lawn again and had to come from the front of the church to get back to my seat!

    My brother is a huge Tim Keller fan. He would visit Redeemer in a heartbeat.


  2. Wow, that auditorium looks different without the people in it! I'm glad you enjoyed the service.

    Usually the bulletin will tell you who the worship leader is. But you're saying Rev. Buccheri delivered the sermon? I don't know that I've ever heard him preach before! I've only heard him as worship leader. The morning before you went to Redeemer's East Side evening service, we heard Rev. Lin preach the same text on the West Side.

    During this trip to Georgia, we did not attend church, although we have many times before. And we actually started attending Redeemer when we moved here because someone like you who visited while on vacation recommended it to us!

  3. I now realize that Rev Abe Cho was the worship leader that morning.