On Tuesday night, I went over across the lake to Bellevue, to sit in on a devotional service at the Baha’i Center.
Bellevue is a bit off my beaten path, and I wouldn’t come over to the east side for just any church. But the only other Baha’i devotionals near me in Seattle happen in peoples’ homes, and I’m not comfortable going to someone’s house, especially if I’m going to write about it later. A house is a private setting, and my blog isn’t a private thing.
So, for the Baha’i, I’ve made an exception and I trundled over the bridge to visit them.
Unfortunately, I don’t yet have enough information about their services to make a proper review. Like the minyon I attended at Beth Shalom, this is just a prayer service, and not a full-on worship service.
In fact, they really don’t have full-on worship services. They have events, about every 19 days or so (they have a 19 day month on their calendar), that involves a speaker. So I’m going to go to one of those in the hopes that it’s close enough to a sermon that I can write about it and give them a score.
Doubting Thomas and Jesus
I’ve got a few things in the hopper that haven’t been put into words yet. First of all, I’m done reading Unveiled Mysteries, the first book about the Saint Germain Foundation, written by its founder, about his experiences in meeting the Count of Saint Germain just prior to his establishment of the church. I will have the last part of the review up sometime tonight.
Secondly, I got really Baha’i last night, and I want to blog about that.
And finally, I had a really interesting conversation with the pastor of the Green Lake Seventh Day Adventist Church, John McLarty.
Edit: A copy/paste error took out a whole paragraph, which I’ll recreate here:
John emailed me that he wanted to get together for coffee. And since I had said some negative things (as well as positive things) I was a little apprehensive. It turns out to have been a great meeting, though, so I’m glad I went. We met at my favorite coffee shop, The Wayward Coffee House, in the Roosevelt/Ravena neighborhood of Seattle.
I arrived at the coffee shop a little late, we had coffee, and he had a sandwich, and we talked. The conversation was warm and friendly right from the beginning. One thing Pastor John knows how to do is put people at ease, and I certainly felt comfortable in his presence.
Chapter four is called Mysteries of the Yellowstone.
King is in his home in a town near Mount Shasta, and Saint Germain pops in. Saint Germain tells him that in order for King to use the power of dominion, to control people and things, he must first learn to obey The Law Of The One. He does not tell King what that means, but King seems to intuitively understand it. Then he tells king to get ready for a trip, and vanishes.
The next day, King spontaneously leaves his body, and begins to fly through the air at great speed towards Yellowstone National Park. Saint Germain is there and tells him that the word “Yellowstone” comes from an old tradition, about fourteen thousand years old, referring to a giant, ancient gold mine that was here and operated by Poseidonis, which was a tributary state of Atlantis. There was also a diamond mine that yielded yellow diamonds. The gold and diamonds were important to the country, as their molecular vibrations are powerful and they’re used to advance science.
I can’t properly review a Catholic communion because I’m not a believer, and if I did take communion, it would really irritate the Catholics. More than irritate them, it would be a violation of holy law, so it would likely deeply offend them.
Now, I don’t mind irritating people, or even offending them, but only when they deserve it. They don’t deserve it, so unless and until I start believing in saints, I’m never going to taste Catholic Jesus.
Fortunately, there’s a solution at hand. A nice Catholic named Tarah has sent me a review! And I can pass it on to you. Here it is:
Catholic Jesus doesn’t taste that great. It’s a whole wheat wafer. The wine isn’t that tasty either; it’s box Gallo, probably. Go eat a Carr’s water cracker and some Franzia that’s been sitting out for an hour. I’m telling you this, because out of all the churches you were at, a Catholic church is probably the single one at which you would most hurt some feels if you eat and drink some Jesus if you aren’t Catholic. Do as you see fit; it’s not going to change the state of your soul or mine, bro. Just saying. I wouldn’t go out of your way for the culinary experience. There’s not even any brie.
Last Sunday I visited the Saint Germain Foundation “I Am” Temple in Seattle. I eventually intend to sit in on a seminar so I can review the church, but I can’t go to a seminar until I’ve read three books.
The first book is entitled Unveiled Mysteries and is written by Godfré Ray King. After doing a little googling, I discovered that this is the pen name of Guy Ballard, the fellow who founded the church. In this post, I’m going to refer to him as King.
I generally don’t grade churches on their dogma or ritual, because, being an atheist, they have little meaning for me, except in that sometimes they are interesting to experience and write about. But since they gave me homework, I’m going to write about it. It won’t affect their review as a church.
Essentially, what I’m going to do here is paraphrase what I read about in the book. This won’t be an objective critique, or a philosophical study, or anything like that. I may snark a bit here and there about things that amuse me, as is my bent, or I may point out something neat or interesting, but I’m really not judging their beliefs. I’m not qualified to do that. And besides, I don’t care what their beliefs are. My interest is in what they’re saying when they say it, and I’m also interested in the novelty of the experience.
The Bethany Community Church is a highly successful, well-attended, non-denominational church that’s near my home. Like Mars Hill, it’s a “rock and roll” church. It’s got a band, a big screen, and a fairly young flock. It’s hip, and it’s lively, and it makes a lot of noise.
This church wasn’t on my poll, but so many of it’s parishioners emailed me or sent me comments on the blog or via Reddit inviting me to come, I had to visit.
It’s kind of a mega church, although it’s a bit smaller than the Mars Hill church. I guess it’s a mini-mega church. Like Mars Hill, it is so successful that it has more than one sermon on Sundays, it’s pastor is charismatic, well-spoken, entertaining, funny, and he’s written a few books.
Note: If you click the above link, the website will play cheesy music at you. You have been warned.
I had a brief but interesting visit to the Saint Germain Foundation’s “I Am” temple on Aurora Avenue in Seattle.
I didn’t get to sit in on a service, because they don’t really have any. Like the Scientologists, they have seminars and classes instead. Unlike the Scientologists, I can actually attend their classes and seminars without having to fork over money.
However, I was unable to attend any today, because I’m not yet qualified, and so this isn’t a full review. It’s a pre-review report.
The “I Am” temple is located a little over a mile from the Oak Lake Baptist Church, which I visited this morning, and as is usual on Sunday, I was on foot. The Baptist church services ended at noon, and I hung around and chatted with the pastor for about twenty minutes. The “I Am” temple opens its doors to the public at noon, and I was afraid I would miss something, so instead of taking the twenty minutes or so to walk there, I hopped on the Metro 358 bus down Aurora, which luckily was just arriving as I approached the bus stop. I got to the temple in about six minutes.
(No website link)
The first church I visited today was the Oak Lake Baptist Church in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. Oak Lake doesn’t have a web site, so I can’t post a link here.
I chose to visit Oak Lake for three reasons: (1) A Baptist church ranked pretty high in my poll, (2) It’s close by my home, and (3) I thought it was a Southern Baptist church. I was wrong about (3), it’s affiliated with American Baptists, and so is a bit more liberal. I might try to find a southern Baptist church at some point and visit it, but I’m discovering that really conservative churches are a little hard to find in Seattle. That shouldn’t be a surprise, we are largely a bunch organic, recycling, car-free, Democrat, pot legalizing, body-pierced, computer nerd, hipster, same-sex marrying nude bikers, and that’s reflected in the general grooviness of our churches too.
The poll is closed, and the results are in!
The next churches I will be attending, in no specific order, are as follows:
- Orthodox Christian
- Non-Mainstream (Probably the Saint Germain Foundation “I Am” Temple)
And, because so many of their parishioners have written to me inviting me to come, I will also be attending the Green Lake Bethany Community Church. Thanks for the invites, guys. Please don’t get mad at me if I don’t give you a high score.
I’m not going to announce in advance which one I’m attending, partly because I don’t want to poison the sample, and partly because almost every time I announce I’m going somewhere in advance something happens to prevent me from doing that.
Thanks for voting!
This is the band that played on stage during my most recent visit to Mars Hill Church in Ballard.