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2331: Salvation Army Queanbeyan Corps, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
Salvation Army, Queanbeyan
Mystery Worshipper: Wldflr.
The church: Salvation Army Queanbeyan Corps, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia.
Denomination: The Salvation Army.
The building: The building is a brick one, I would say built within the last 20-30 years or so. The original weatherboard building adjacent to the new hall is now a Salvation Army Family Store. A playground sits between the store and the worship building.
The church: The Salvation Army has been in Queanbeyan for 127 years. They have a store and various ministry outlets on the grounds, including SAGALA (Salvation Army Guards and Legions Association, similar to Scouts).
The neighbourhood: Queanbeyan lies about 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) to the east of Canberra, Australia's federal capital. The Salvation Army campus sits at a reasonably central location to the centre of the city, in a leafy street opposite the bus interchange, and next to the local Presbyterian church.
The cast: The name of the lady officer escapes me, but she had the rank of major. Her husband's name was Chris, although he wasn't in uniform so I was a bit stymied as to his role.
The date & time: 5 February 2012, 10.00am.

What was the name of the service?
Family Service.

How full was the building?
The building, I would say, could comfortably sit some 60-70 people, and there were about 40-45 in attendance, so it had a good "full" feeling. There were about a quarter of the folk in uniform.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes, Chris and the lady major.

Was your pew comfortable?
It was individual cushioned seating, very comfortable.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Buzzy, chatty, relaxed.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Good morning and welcome to everyone this morning."

What books did the congregation use during the service?
All words were projected. A copy of the Good News Bible was on every second pew.

What musical instruments were played?
Some kind of keyboard that had other sounds that could be played from it, e.g. drum beats. A few timbrels were played sporadically in some of the songs.

Did anything distract you?
The major's husband not being in uniform – I couldn't figure that one out. I may have gotten things wrong a bit, though.

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Generally happy-clappy. One or two of the songs seemed to be not too well known by the congregation. There was a reasonably good mixture of Hillsong type songs and good old Salvation Army songs such as "Would you know why Jesus loves me" in which the congregation clapped and there was a lady in front of me doing the good old timbrel thing!

Exactly how long was the sermon?
15 minutes.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
7 – The major's style was sincere and succinct. It was a good presentation of the message and would have been clearly understood by all there.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
The text was Revelation 1:4-7 (every eye will see Christ, who freed us from sin, when he comes again). Jesus loves us, frees us, and lifts us out of our sins – and he does this all for sinners.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
There were several times. First, during the singing of a Zambian melodious song called "What the Lord has done for me" – very happy, clappy and joyful! Second, when a young man was escorted to the mercy-seat during the sermon, the major paused and prayed for the young fellow and then continued with the message. It was wonderful and one almost heard the angels rejoicing up there over this young man.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
Nothing really, just the somewhat annoying murmur of a toddler playing with his cars in front of me during the message.

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Well, to be honest, I had a place to be, so I gapped it as the closing benediction was being given.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
Refreshments were mentioned, so I would assume there was an ample supply on hand. But I couldn't stay.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
7 – I would have no hesitation in recommending this church to anyone who might be looking for a good community of faith to belong to.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?
Yes it did.

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
Why did the major's husband not have a uniform on?
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