Address: Christ Presbyterian Church, 36 E. Victoria St.
Service attended: Sunday, 10 a.m.
Pastor: Reverend Scott Bridges
Congregation size: 180
Special offerings: Sunday School at 9 a.m.; at-home Bible study groups; Evensong (prayer, music and scripture) the first Sunday of every month at 5 p.m.; potluck after services the third Sunday of each month.
Contact: Call 957-4200 or see cpcsb.org
Pastor Scott Bridges and the Elders of the Christ Presbyterian Church have one thing figured out: no matter how devout the congregation may be, no one can sit still and pay attention for as long as most churches hope and expect. As a result, CPC’s Sunday morning service is varied and fast-paced, moving from a hymn to a brief prayer to another hymn quickly enough to keep the entire group engaged and enthusiastic.
However, this congregation hardly needs the added interest of a fun service to keep their attention. The most striking aspect of this church is the overall friendliness and joy each member seems to feel while there. Religion, and Christianity in particular, is supposed to foster unity, kindness and a sense of wonder, and this is certainly the feeling produced by the church’s congregation, many of whom are young people and college students.
Perhaps the most unusual portion of the service was the sermon – which seems contradictory, until you’ve seen Pastor Bridges speak. His talk was impressive: both heartfelt and well-organized. Theology is obviously his metier, and his knowledge of the original Hebrew and Greek Biblical sources is profound. From a purely academic standpoint, his sermons are worth the visit; from a human perspective, his church is a pleasant place to spend a Sunday, and filled with people who try to do good in their lives the rest of the week.
The Christ Presbyterian Church is involved in the community, in addition to providing services and Sunday School; they support the Rescue Mission and the Unity Shoppe, and encourage their congregation and other Santa Barbarans to get involved.