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I visited The St. Peter’s Methodist church located in the San Diego County area of Escondido on April 29, 2013, and attended the two services conducted on Sundays. I was looking forward to speaking to the Bishop but the process did not turn out to be as simple as I thought it would be. The Bishop has served in the church for the last fifteen years and I was sure that he could provide the necessary information I needed about their daily activities on their services. I had to follow a long process in order to meet the bishop, which was only possible after the service. When the service was over, we met and deliberated on a few areas concerning the activities at The St. Peter’s Methodist.
I arrived at The St. Peter’s Methodist ten minutes past six and realized that I was a bit late since their service commences at exactly six in the morning. I found the Programmer briefing the Congregation on the Worship schedule and the session was helpful to me since I got a lot of relevant information.
At The St. Peter`s Methodist, they divide their weekly Schedule into four sessions whereby each session they perform different activities on special days. According to the Bishop and his assistants, there are two services conducted in the mid-week, one on Tuesday and the other one on Thursday. They conduct a thanksgiving and Repentance service on Saturdays followed by the main service conducted on Sundays.
Activities on the Tuesday Service
On Tuesdays, the ushers and some members of the choir rehearse for the proceedings of the main service. During this time, they discuss matters concerning the previous main service. They highlight on what went wrong and seek ways of rectifying them in the following Sunday service. The church choir gets the opportunity to come up with new songs and practice them on this day. It is noteworthy that only specific groups in the church, not all members of the church only attend this service.
It takes only four hours to complete the Agenda of Tuesday service. Members who attend this service include the members of choir, the youth, women group or the deacons meeting. It usually starts at 2 P.M., and ends at 6 P.M. All the members first join for opening prayers then they engage in singing and worshipping session for a period of two hours before they break to their specific groups to discuss matters concerning the previous main service. At 6 P.M., they join for closing prayers then they end the activities of the day.
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Activities on the Thursday Service
On Thursdays, they purposely practice and organize for the main service, but relatively fewer groups are usually in attendance as compared to Tuesdays. Deacons do not attend the service since they have very little to prepare concerning the following Sunday service. Choir members meet to practice more songs and the youths attended to help with voluntary work such as cleaning the church. It takes only three hours to finish the activities of this day.
Activities on the Saturday Service
This is almost as important as the main service since it involves briefing on all the activities to take place on the following day. All participants present their items that they intend to include in the program of the main service. It also acts as a thanksgiving and Repentance service whereby the Priest meets with the church members to thank the Almighty God for protection throughout the week and pray for Lord’s grace and mercy among the people.
Everyone gets the opportunity to Repent in preparation for the main service. It takes a relatively longer period compared to the other mid-week services since it involves many activities. It starts at ten in the morning and ends at four in the evening and all the groups attend.
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Activities on the Sunday service
This is the main service in the week, which takes place on Sundays. The Deacon informed me that they treat Sundays as holydays and many people do not work on the same day. Everyone gather in prayers in the church from morning to evening. It involves reading the schedule of service activities in the following week, Repentance, thanksgiving and praising the lord. As I joined the, this is what I found in progress and I received information from one of the congregations that it starts by Repentance, where everyone get a chance to repent his or her sins before the worship begins.
During the Sunday service, they begin with praise and worship teams and later joined by other worshipers. They sing and dance to the tune in a jubilant manner. Thereafter, the priest reads the scriptures of the day and the Bishop explains the scriptures to the worshipers where he engaged them by posing some questions.
After the explanation of the scriptures, worshipers present their offerings to God at the altar. At the same time, praise and worship team continue singing and dancing, which the congregation later joins. The Bishop blesses the offering and allows everyone to go down on his or her knees for personal prayers. The Bishop leads the final prayer and worships depart to their respective homes.
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After the service, there was a meeting of the church committee led by the chairperson and the Bishop. After the meeting, I was able to interview the Bishop, He told me about the history of the song and the founder member of the church. I noticed that the church had rules governing it, which everyone must follow. It was the duty of the Bishop to lead the service every Sunday while the priest could conduct weekday services.
Finally, it was my pleasure to visit the site because the worshipers conducted the service very well, which made me feel at home. They cited in an orderly manner well spaced and everyone and a free area to dance to the praise songs. The building was large and decorated with white color and pictures. I realized that they cover altar with purple and white sheets.
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