The Villager Voice

I had a distinct sense of deja vu while in Florida last week.  The hotel I stayed in was two blocks south of the church my parents attended when they lived in Deerfield Beach.  The Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft Lauderdale is a massive mega-church that ticks off most of the boxes you might expect.  Their long-time pastor, Dr. James Kennedy, served there until his death until 2007; there’s a good chance you’ve seen him on Sunday morning, as their services have long been broadcast nationally.  (So have ours, for nearly two years now, but that’s a slightly different animal.). The church has multiple worship services, a staff of 25, a large choir and small accompanying orchestra, and 4 large television cameras stroll the roomy aisles during worship, which to me proved more than a little distracting.

It also has a decidedly conservative theology, which isn’t like my parents at all, and the only explanation I can come up with is that they were taken by the Hollywood-like production of it all.  I attended Coral Ridge with them a couple of times, and (forgive me, God) had to bow my head to conceal my reflexive eye-rolls at the spectacle of it all.  But one of those mornings I decided to try a little thought-experiment.  As two members among thousands, my folks didn’t attract a lot of attention, understandably so.    In the pews were cards for visitors and first-time worshipers to fill out; so I pulled out my pen and provided my information, full name with honorific:  The Rev. W. Alan Froggatt, and appended that I was worshiping with my parents who were members.  The experiment worked; before the week was out, Dr. Kennedy called my parents and asked if he could stop by for a pastoral visit!  They were thrilled.

And as I listened to the carillons ring from Coral Ridge’s steeple last week, I thought of my parents, and the memory made me smile yet again.

Here are the links to Sunday’s bulletin and service:

Sunday January 16, 2022 Bulletin
Link to service




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