Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chalk. It. Up.

Sunday was one of those Sundays for the books. But it was memorable in a sneaky way. You could almost miss it and I would hate for you to miss it. So here are a few reasons I will always remember September 26, 2010 at St. John's.
  1. Two young couples joined our ranks. One is getting married in December and I'm doing their wedding. The other helped plan a grandparent's funeral here last spring and it has felt like home ever since. I love new people and watching others gather around getting to know them and showering them with welcome. One of these newbies has not yet been baptized. I look forward to splashing him with holy promises and new life in Christ.
  2. It was Pack the Church Sunday. We tried this last year and our worship attendance increased by 80%! This year our worship attendance wasn't much higher than usual, but just about everyone brought a visitor. It was fun to meet the friends, family and neighbors who came and hear what they loved. One had been excluded from his home congregation's communion table for a long time. It was an honor to place bread in his hands. Another was overwhelmed by the noise of children helping, making music and crawling up the aisle. She teared up sharing what those young faces meant to her.
  3. We took a noisy offering. Our 10th graders were in charge of this offering, which they collected in noisy tin cans. People dropped their loose change in trying to make as much noise as possible. It was a great way to include visitors who might normally feel anxious about this part of the liturgy. They were all told in advance and came with baggies and socks of change. The noise had everyone giggling and it all added up to $335.96 for hunger ministries through Second Harvest Heartland.
  4. The construction dust was flying. Our narthex expansion and kitchen update projects have begun! St. John's is 127 years old, so new and tangible projects that everyone participates in and remembers bridges old members with new members. We all stood in awe of how our space is changing and slowing becoming more welcoming.
  5. So many people were involved. This is my third fall at St. John's and - boy- are we waking up! People say YES and participate and offer to lead and get others involved and believe that being part of things is stewardship and discipleship and life giving and bearing good fruit.
I could go on and on. I love these people. I love this call. I love the ways we are living into the growth they knew they were made for when they asked me to join them a few years ago.

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