Tag Archives: grape juice

If you are ever in Louisville . . .

. . . check out Sojourn Community Church.  My daughter worshiped at Sojourn during the two years she lived there and I always loved visiting.  It had consistently accurate verse-by-verse preaching, contemporary style music with sound lyrics, and just an overall good balance.  It was recommended to us by some missionaries who now live in the Ukraine, and we are very grateful to them.

(Just to be clear, this church has nothing to do with Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” WallisSojourners organization.)

They took baptism very seriously, and would tell you about the people being baptized.  Someone would read a ~1 page overview of how the person being baptized came to trust in Christ.  The stories were so varied — tales of horrible abuse, drug / alcohol additions, etc. but also some people who grew up in Christian homes, went to church camp and such, but never truly committed to Jesus.  I like how a full range of people felt welcomed there.

Another nice touch: For communion, they would offer two cups — one of wine and one of grape juice.  I’ve never seen that before.  I know people have preferences but it is definitely a “debate, don’t divide” issue for me.  On second thought, it isn’t even a “debate” issue with me.  Just approach communion with the right attitude and drink whatever you like.

They are welcoming to the “over-churched or the under-churched,” though a “churched” person like me could get a lot out of it as well.

They didn’t water down the Gospel a bit, weaving it in the messages every week.  They did a 2 year sermon series through the Bible, and ended with a sermon on the lake of fire from Revelation — even though it was Christmas week!

They opened a Sojourn Community Church in the Heights area of Houston recently.  I want to check it out sometime.  It would be too far of a drive for us to worship at regularly, but it might be a good place for ex-prisoners I know who will settle in halfway houses in the downtown area.

I’d love to see this model expand across the country.

Wine or grape juice? Yes!

I was thrilled when I visited my oldest daughter’s church at Christmas.  It is a non-denominational church that seemed to do everything “just right.”  Passionate music with meaningful lyrics, Gospel-centered preaching that went verse-by-verse through a passage in Micah, a proper focus on giving, an emphasis on church planting, and more.

They even had a clever solution for communion.  When I went to receive it a guy was holding two cups.  I immediately realized that one was grape juice and one was wine.  I didn’t have a preference so I didn’t bother to look for the labels ( I think I got wine).

Either way, I thought it was a terrific approach to something that can divide people unnecessarily.  I’m in the debate-don’t-divide camp regarding non-essential issues so I love seeing solutions like this.

Ecumenical / non-denominational efforts sometimes get wimpy or even heretical with their theology.  Instead of uniting on the essentials they ignore everything even remotely controversial and end up with the sort of un-biblical or even anti-biblical theology you’ll find at the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, Sojourners and the like.

I’m very encouraged that there are churches like this out there.  I hope they grow and expand across the country.  It was definitely an answered prayer for my daughter to land in such a theologically sound and well-run church.

Trivia fact: You can read about how grape juice became a popular choice for communion here.  Short version: A Methodist named Welch (yep, as in Welch’s) sought an alternative to wine.