We took three months to make the decision, but the time has come. October is here. The leaves have turned. The prayers have all been prayed. The store is now closed. Let's go home.
Our family will be attending Portland Pentecostal[s] Church pastored by Steve Hanson.
(I asked Pastor Hanson if the name of the church was "Portland Pentecostals" or "Portland Pentecostal Church". He told me that the congregation is called Portland Pentecostals, but that the humongous sign just off the I-205 freeway was too narrow to fit PentecostalS and ever since then the church has also used the title Portland Pentecostal Church on occasion.)
PP[C] is located in SE Portland near Mt. Scott. Pastor Hanson and his wife, Yvonne, have pastored the church for 25 years and taken it from a small congregation that met on Sandy Boulevard to a Southeast Portland where they [crazily] bought the recently-vacated funeral home at Lincoln Memorial Park. They've been there long enough that the've successfully established the church's identity in the area and shaken off most of the undertaker jokes.
I met Steve Hanson completely outside of a church setting almost 20 years ago when he was a union carpenter and I had a summer job with the same company. I'm glad to say he's the same guy as a successful pastor in SE Portland as he was installing cabinets in SW Portland in the 90's. In this very unique time in our lives, the Hansons and Portland Pentecostals have been welcoming and understanding and we are very grateful.
So for all the "best churches" out there: we were so impressed with the different people we met and the work you're all doing. Many would think that the past three months would give us a list of negatives for every church we visited. Not at all so. The hardest thing was trying to sort through all the positives. This time in our lives is through and we've made a choice that we believe is best (that some certainly won't agree with). But we can definitely offer some great recommendations for the places and people that have opened their doors and their hearts to us this summer. Thank you all.