Frederick Church of the Brethren debuted its new contemporary worship service Easter Sunday.
The Basement is designed to be casual, inviting and have a relaxed atmosphere.
“There is sort-of a coffeehouse feel,” said Jenn Dorsch, director of communication for the church. “We’re looking for a safe place for people to worship in just a comfortable, casual way.”
The service took place in the recently renovated multipurpose room, which has something of a theater or club atmosphere with its black curtains and couches and pillars with purple accent lighting.
The Easter worship began with a video greeting and a live performance of Christian rock, followed by a videotaped sermon from Pastor Paul Mundey, who spoke of the Easter story as an allegory for overcoming failure and doubt and called on the congregation to have faith and encourage each other.
The Basement will feature video sermons because the church’s pastors will be delivering a live, traditional sermon upstairs at the same time.
The church hopes that offering a less formal setting for its services will encourage more people to visit and join the congregation, particularly those who may have once been church regulars but stopped going, Dorsch said.
Several of the congregation were drawn in by the fresh approach to worship.
“It’s casual, it’s laidback, it’s inviting,” Sherie Johnson said. “I can be myself.”
Lauren Lipps, of Frederick, has been a lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren.
She said she enjoyed the music and the more interactive, conversational tone of The Basement.
“It draws me in,” she said. “I don’t feel like I’m being preached at, I feel like I’m being preached to.”
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