By Kaylee Campbell
Cheery faces, comfy seating placed around the spacious lobby, and coffee waiting for you at the “café” really makes Harborside Christian Church feel like home away from home. Besides the usual times for worship and listening to fantastic sermons from their very own Pastor Kurt Parker, Harborside offers quite a few groups for personal growth on a regular basis for the newborn ages all the way up to the seniors. The diversity of this church is inspiring. In addition to the groups that regularly meet, there are also a variety of special events hosted for building relationships and spiritual growth.
One step into this spacious and modern styled church and you will feel the openness literally and figuratively. With a very large and basic floor plan, navigating your way around Harborside is fairly simple. It makes it easier to find your way around when everyone you meet is open to friendly conversation, and they graciously guide you along your way through the halls to where you want to be. This includes holding doors open for you, handing you pamphlets with church news inside, offering free coffee at the cute little café in the lobby, and directing you to check-ins and people you might want to meet.
Speaking of check-ins, feel safe dropping your kids off in the Marina, a marine life themed kids area filled with classrooms and trustworthy people excited about caring for your children after electronically signing them into Harborside’s computer system that prints out corresponding stickers–one with all of your child’s information that goes on their back, and one that you keep. The stickers have a matching code that changes every week, so only you can pick your child up. Pagers are also given to parents of little ones to help ease their minds about leaving their children for an hour to go to the adult service. In the Marina, you will find vividly painted murals with all sorts of sea life, a giant pelican, and many other bright and fun props that your children are sure to enjoy.
For the older kids, there is a middle school and high school room almost hidden up and away on the second floor. Teenagers are seemingly secluded in their own little world complete with carpet ball, plenty of chill seating, modern and tech-savvy media productions and alternative rock styled music to keep them pumped and full of enthusiasm about Christ-loving fellowship. The atmosphere here introduces teens to what sermons will be like in the adult service, while still relating the content of the sermons to teenage life.
The worship center for the adults makes you feel like you are at a concert, with the dimmed lights, exciting band, media, and special effects. You can really tell that the creative arts design crew is hard at work during the week because the creative designs will have you in awe. Following the morning worship, filled with catchy upbeat songs that get you ready to sing and dance, there is information about what’s currently going on in the church, communion and an offer for you to tithe. There is always an interesting story, sure to keep your attention, and a relatable sermon before the service is over.
There is always something going on at Harborside, from individualized small groups to kid’s karate lessons. Don’t worry about Harborside not having a small group just right for you because this church is certainly diverse, interesting, and so very welcoming. You will surely find yourself fit right in at Harborside and feel as if it could be your home away from home.
For more information checkout http://www.harborsidechurch.org/ or visit Harborside Christian Church in person at 2200 Marshall St Safety Harbor, FL 34695.