19 October 2014

Across the U.S., Day 13 - St. Louis (MO) to Henderson (KY)

This Sunday morning I did what many Americans do: I went to church.

Religion plays a very important role in this country. There is a large variety of religious beliefs and practices. And if I want to learn more about people, what better way is there than to join a service. I selected Grace Church in Maryland Heights north of St. Louis, because their website looked inviting. It is considered an inter-denominational church. Thus, a church that worships God without an affiliation to a specific religious group.

Wow, this is not simply a church but a full campus including a cafe, bookstore and lots more. The 1.5 hour long service is held in the auditorium, which resembles a conference room. Several hundred people of all ages and colors showed up. A band started playing modern christian music. The lyrics were displayed on the large screens left and right. People were standing and singing, clapping their hands and got all enthusiastic. After an update on community events, money collection and several prayers the sermon was held for 45 min. More songs and prayers concluded the service. This is what I would call 'modern church', so vivid and different to what I had ever witnessed before.

Grace Church auditorium

Sermon to Romans, chapter 6

For the first time ever it came handy that hotel rooms all provide the Holy Bible. If I want to I can revisit what the Reverend talked about. :-)

Back on the road, I followed Hwy 50 east into Illinois  - the "Land of Lincoln" - and Indiana.

Not sure if Hwy 50 was such a good idea. For the most part the pavement is poor, in consequence driving is slow and the worst: the curbside is mostly too narrow to stop for pictures!!

Even I started to define this as 'boring'. ;-)

Some entertaining spots along the road.

Sadly, I noticed lots of road kill: roughly one killed raccoon every other km! After passing by Darmstadt I finally arrived at Henderson, Kentucky. No state sign picture either. The sign was located on the median strip, right before a bright with no place to stop. Didn't I complain about this already?

There is a KFC next to the hotel, should I really? Nah, probably not.

More to come.


  1. O yes. It seems that religion is the most important thing here, especially in the rural areas. In Sheridan, WY, we had a motel for one night which was not very clean. But we had a bible in our night stand. Obviosly that was the most important thing in their sight of hospitality.
    Thank you for the impressions of Hwy 50. It comes on our "not-to-do-list".

  2. Hwy 50 was not it for me at least. There might be more charming sections further west, though. No, you certainly don't want to be on it if you can't stop for picts! :-)

  3. I do not get the concept of 'church'. If somebody believes in something, any location will do to connect with that higher being. But like sports events there is a good chance to meet people ;-)

    1. I totally agree with you, Sonja! I do not get the "concept" either.