A lot of cool things happened during worship.
We worshipped outdoors for the first time in our new home.
We hosted another band (the Soulbacks) who melded with us during worship.
In Pastor Richard's absence (he was on vacation) we had the privilege of hearing Tim Whelan speak.
A church member received a call from a friend who was golfing across the road asking if we could turn the music up.
We explored a new worship element; the improvised responsive singing of scripture.
We enjoyed a fantastic meal together (thank you Greg and Sandy Lewis for providing the pork and turkey)
We learned some important lessons to help our next outdoor event be even better.
These are all cool things, and I want to share a couple extras that moved me personally:
There is no sound more beautiful to me than human voices joined together in song.
One of my favorite things to occur when we worship together is when we - the worship leaders - have moments of equilibrium with those we are leading. Moments where it's no longer clear who's leading whom. That happened yesterday during our responsive singing of Philippians 2. I was overcome. I still am!
A close second in the sound category occurred toward the end of the potluck. I was preparing to enter the kitchen and could hear chatting and genuine joyful laughter. I paused and just listened for a moment. Not in a creepy eavesdroppy way, I couldn't even tell you what was being talked about.
I just stood and soaked in this beautiful feeling of family.
It was a good moment.
Finally, after everyone was gone I was doing my final inspection and was struck by the grass outside of the pavilion and I took this picture. Do you notice the grass?
The first thing that caught my eye from this angle was how it was trampled. I am by nature an extrovert and I love being around people. There was something about this flattened patch of grass that struck me:
This is evidence of life. People walked here and stood here; chatting, laughing, listening, eating. Lives were shared and connections deepened in this place.
I love our church home. More specifically I love that it is an active venue for being in God's presence together. I love that it isn't a museum or mausoleum intended only for watching and quietly breathing. I love that it is intended for - and used for - being alive together.
I love that we can live and laugh and love God and grow together in this place.
As of this writing vacation bible school is coming up in a week. There will be laughter and music and games and spilled juice and sweaty kids. I can't wait to see the state of the grass afterward.
Finally I want to say thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you who engage in these adventures. Thank you for bringing your lawn chairs and your summer salads. Thank you for being willing to step outside of what's comfortable, known and "normal".
Thank you for seeking God's presence with me and leading me in worship so much more powerfully than I could ever lead you.
Sunday, July 14, 2019 was cool! To God be the glory.