I'm not sure if any of you have heard about Michael Bernard Beckwith (he was in the movie and the book "The Secret" , he runs the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California.
Agape is Greek for "unconditional love" and in Webster's is defined as "a love feast". It's a transdenominational community at the Agaoe center with mere hints of Jesus and a large splash of God so agnostics may not be keen on it but I found it to be a nice way to spend a Wednesday evening.
The music is wonderful with a great female singer who performed everything from gospel to Michael Jackson songs....they like Motown music which is good by me. The band was very good and another man sang a really great song but I didn't get his name (it's not easy to hear from the back so next time I'm going early to get a better seat!)
There was a moment when the first timers had to stand up so I did and everyone around the room smiles at you with out stretched hands and repeats lovely phrases after Reverend Michael..it was actually quite moving and I couldn't get the big silly grin off of my face for a good 10 minutes. On the down side I had two men in back of me who seemed to be competing for the "who can sing the loudest and most off key" gold cup and a fellow who must have watched too many southern Baptist revival meetings as a young 'un because he kept stating "Yes Michael!" emphatically after just about everything the Reverend said...a bit much for me but perhaps I am a little shy.
In fact part of the sermon that night was about the Reverend having a pain in the butt member of his church who in spite of the man's irritable nature and uncanny ability to make everyone dislike him to the extreme..Michael began to actually grow fond of this little monster, and he didn't like the fact that he WAS! It was a cute story which reminded us to open our hearts, come from a place of love and forgiveness and to be patient and kind to our fellow beings...an oldie but a goodie.
I have always enjoyed going into churches as a kind of "spiritual resting place", they are generally quiet and a good place for reflection and I love the smell of incense and the costumes so I tend to hang out in churches especially when traveling. This is a completely different sort of place with noise and people drinking their drinks and eating their free kettle corn samples and reading the programs and chatting, singing etc. not nearly as uptight as say, the Catholic church I attend for Lent. All in all I am happy that I went and I'm sure that I will return to drink form the cup of positive thinking and to remind me that I am not alone in my quest for peace.