What do you do when your church/denomination becomes so influenced by popular culture, it modifies the tenets of your life-long faith to the point it becomes barely recognizable? You can either accept the state of affairs, be quiet and submit to them, or you can organize a new church/denomination to maintain your belief structure.
A local group of Bible-believing Presbyterians has done exactly that. Meeting Sundays, 11 a.m., in UAA classroom (Room 117) in the Fine Arts Building they hope to move those services to the Recital Hall when its renovations are complete. Calling themselves Anchorage Presbyterian Fellowship they claim a non-denominational status. Last Sunday, June 30, I popped in for a visit and liked what I saw. APF adheres to 10 key beliefs as stated on their website.
Who would have thought that a lecture auditorium at UAA would make a good setting for a new church, but it worked for me. With minimal effort, the classroom was transformed into an appropriate religious setting. A table on the platform was set up as an altar, with candles and flowers. A podium and piano completed the setting.
About 60 or attendees were cheerfully singing a hymn when I entered a few minutes late. The worship setting follows a comfortable, abbreviated liturgical form. I had missed the Opening Prayer and responsive Call to Worship but was there for the remainder of the service. They love hymns and joined in singing them unlike many other churches I visit. During this service they sang:
• Lift High the Cross
• There is a Balm in Gilead
• Make me a Blessing
• God Be With You Till We Meet Again
The hymns were appropriately and artfully led on the piano by well-known local pianist Marie Matetich.
APF is recruiting a regular pastor to provide continuity for preaching and leadership in spiritual growth. However, for the present, they’re utilizing a series of local pastors speaking on Christian growth.
This day Rev. Sam Humphreys shared a wonderful message titled “A Healthy Church Has a Heart for Others”. Assisted by but not indebted to PowerPoint slides he focused on Biblical counsel from 1 John 3:11, 14-18. I enjoyed his remarks as did the rest of those present. They’ve had other pastors from the local community including Rev. Rick Benjamin. Next Sunday, July 7, greatly loved local pastor Rev. Keith Lauwers will lead the worship service, to be followed by Rev. Rick Benjamin on July 14.
Anchorage Presbyterian Fellowship is a work in progress but they are friendly, have a 1 hour service that is Biblically-based, music that is participative and delights at once, and seems to be a friendly and hospitable group. An after worship fellowship with coffee and treats was served. I highly recommend APF for a rewarding visit. They seem to be doing the “right stuff”.