Scenic Park Bible Church: A Refreshing Visit

Summary
There’s not a lot of fireworks at this church but the inner fires burn brightly. Scenic Park Bible Church, the recipient of my visit on January 24, is a small church but friendly. The music was simple but heartfelt. Their bulletin showed no order of service, leaving me unsure of what was coming next. But, from my initial greeting to the last goodbye, I felt the genuineness of their fellowship. A solidly Bible-based church, I very much enjoyed my visit.[img_assist|nid=148255|title=Scenic Park Bible Church – View From Patterson St|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=137]

Backstory
I’d been wanting to visit this small church in E. Anchorage for some time. Headed there and running late this summer, I decided to make a last minute stop at the CME church which was the right decision. However I finally made it to Scenic Park Bible Church on this sunny late January morning. It looked smaller than their website picture, but once inside it seemed bigger. I was greeted, handed a bulletin and took a seat. There were about 50 people in attendance this day. Just as the services were starting someone coming down the aisle, patted me on the shoulder and murmered “welcome”.

Unusual Prayer Focus
After the announcements, it came time for prayer. Something unusual from all of my visits then happened. They announced their prayer for Church of the Week was for All Saints Episcopal Church. Later, talking with a member, I inquired if there was some problem at All Saints Episcopal. I was told no, but that they prayed for a different church in Anchorage each week. I was impressed by this strong solidarity with Anchorage’s church community. In turn they also prayed for the Family of the Week, the Missionary Focus of the Week, and the Country of the Week (Bangladesh). Each was preceeded by brief detail and discussion of the importance of the prayer. For a small church they have a strong missions focus.

Unusual Offering Declaration
Uncharacterstically departing from standard Anchorage Church practice, Scenic Park has this prominent statement on the main page of their bulletin:

Welcome Visitors: As our special guest today, please do not feel obligated to contribute to the offering.

I applaud them for this. This was only the second time I’ve seen this spoken or printed in all of my Anchorage church visits. Clearly setting the visitor at ease, I’m certain it does not unduly deprive any church of any significant financial support. Personally I believe they are apt to receive more because of it. It is so visitor friendly. There was special music during the offering of piano, trombone and flute. About this time someone handed me a very nice welcome packet, a rare event in most of my church visits.

Bible-Based Preaching
At the time for the message, I deduced the trombone player was the speaker. Later I discovered he was an elder, one of three. He spoke for about 35 minutes with his sermon titled The Soft Soil. Strongly Bible-based, Len Elliott used Mark 3 and 4 for the basis of the majority of his remarks. Not an extemporaneous speaker, using notes, he covered much ground. You can find his sermon recording here.

In all, the service lasted 80 minutes. After the service a couple in my pew talked with me and introduced me to several other members. This is not a pushy church, and is friendly and warm. My thanks to the congregation for their hospitality.[img_assist|nid=148256|title=Scenic Park BC Interior – Len Elliott Preaching|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=263]

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