A well deserved
Photo above: While on
vacation we attended a church service in Carlsbad,
California at North Coast Calvary Chapel. I was
hesitant mostly because I thought this denomination
would have overly loud rock music - my wife gets
headaches from loud music and excessive lighting.
But so much for stereotypes! The music was acoustic
guitar and piano with a deliberately understated
drummer's style (the drummer's style was totally
perfect for this), plus saxophone - clarinet. Each
musician and singer was great.
I am an experienced
audio person and know you don't have to blast out
the audience's ears if your music and sound mix are
high quality! Well, it totally met my high class
sophisticated standards. Volume level was perfect,
I estimate just 80 decibels whch is just
right, and way below the threshold of pain that too
many "contemporary" style churches use. The
pastor was excellent and his preaching style was
like a college instructor's. That's a good thing,
especially for an educated geographical area.
Again, so much for stereotypes!
The reason we had selected
this church to visit is because my sister, who
lives in Carlsbad, had been invited there several
times by one of her friends. I totally enjoyed this
church and so did Beverly.
Snapshot above taken with
Doug's digital wedding photography camera using
18mm wide angle lens with f-stop f:2.8 and camera
sensitivity of ISO 800, no flash.
COMMENTARY: Our experience at North Coast
Calvary Chapel was so positive that if we lived in
that area (which we don't) I could
probably talk Beverly into attending or joining
this church with me.
Years ago Beverly had
repeated unsatisfactory experiences with
charistmatic churches in Northern California, which
had severely turned her off to this type of
denomination. (Calvary Chapel would be classified
as a charismatic denomination.) DOUG'S
LESSON FOR TODAY: This perfectly
illustrates something I learned shooting wedding
pictures where I've observed many many churches
behind the scenes.
You can have two
churches of the same denomination (fill in
the blank for any denomination) where one
church is horrible and the other
"identical" church across town is
So when a person has
had bad experiences at Church XYZ, it is not true
that every church is just like it.
That principle is true
whether one is rating churches or restaurants.
Logically, people who have
been "turned off to church" ought to try a
better church across town. Hey - you don't give up
food because you used to eat at a bad restaurant.
You'd stop eating at the bad restaurant and find a
will be good or bad for the same reasons as
restaurants. It is a function of the character
of their leaders and staff (which will affect the
quality of the food they will feed you.)
church's link is at: http://www.northcoastcalvary.org
If you are
looking for a decent church in our area please call
Doug for a recommendation (Northern California
especially around the Sacramento and Placer County
areas.) I have photographed weddings at so
many of them I can tell you which ones are nice
places and which ones I would avoid. It would be my
pleasure to steer you in a good direction.
wedding photographer's perspective - here's what I
learned about telling what a particular church is
I EVALUATE A CHURCH'S QUALITY I look at 3
First, are their
beliefs "normal" or weird.
Second, is the
BEHAVIOR of their staff consistent with what
they claim to believe. If so they will be helpful,
Third, are the
ordinary people I've come in contact with
who attend that church honest and helpful.
I am not very particular
about what denomination a church is -- as long as
it succeeds on these three characteristics. There
are thousands of high quality churches available.
There's no need to be feel stuck with attending (or
getting married at) a creepy one.