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Cross Sound Church moving up
"When Cross Sound Church outgrew its temporary home at Woodward Middle School, it did what a lot of churches do.It looked at land, and at maybe putting up a building.But then somebody noticed that there already exists a large building meant to accommodate audiences, one that is always empty on Sunday morning - the movie theater.And so the church is moving into the Pavilion.Theaters are kind of the way our culture tells stories, said Pastor Paul Schuler. We're in a story-telling place, telling the compelling story of the Gospel.The church is using all five theaters at Bainbridge Cinemas, Schuler said. The main service, which generally attracts 250-300 people, is held in the largest of the theaters. The others are used for Sunday School classes to accommodate a youth group of about 70.We use music, drama and videos, so this works well for us, Schuler said.The space between the front seats and the screen is furnished appropriately to create a church atmosphere, he said.The church started in 1996, and attracted people who haven't found that a traditional religions setting works, Schuler said.While the presentation and form of service at Cross-Sound may be nontraditional, the doctrine is what Schuler describes as historical Christianity. Cross-Sound is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America, different from the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. with which Rolling Bay Presbyterian is affiliated. But the churches are in no sense rivals, Schuler said.We did not use the word 'Presbyterian' in our name, he said, because we did not want people to think of us as an alternative to Rolling Bay.The church now has a single Sunday morning service beginning at 9:30 a.m. But there is enough time at the Pavilion for two services before the movies start, and Schuler believes the church will stay in the theaters for at least five years.We weren't really interested in land and a building, he said. We wanted to be more community-centered, and use our resources for other things. "