A few days ago, I wrote about the problem of informing all potential worshipers of the cancellation of tonight’s Refuge service so people could watch the Steelers and Jets compete for a berth at the Super Bowl. (See “Every Sunday. Really?”) Since it was clear that no one else would be at the church, I drove to St. Paul’s, parked on Mayfair Drive where I could see anyone approaching a building entrance, and waited to see if anyone came for the service.
The good news is that no one showed up. Of course, that was also the bad news. The biggest hope for Refuge is that it will attract the un-churched. Those are the people who had no means of learning that the service was canceled. The obvious conclusion is that no one from the target audience chose to attend today. Admittedly, the Church of the Pittsburgh Steelers offers stiff competition, but the reality is that Refuge is mostly attracting parishioners from other St. Paul’s services. Occasionally, it may have seduced an Episcopalian from another parish to come to see what all the fuss is about.
As an aside, I should mention that I drove into the parking lot about 5:40 PM, before I positioned myself on Mayfair. One car was in the lot, but it did not seem to belong to anyone in the building. I did notice, however, that the door to the parking lot closest to the street was ajar. I entered through the door to see if anyone was inside. Apparently, no one was. I returned to the door through which I had entered, engaged the latch, closed the door, and set the deadbolt. I then left the building by the door at the handicapped entrance, making sure that it was locked.
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