Sunday, March 6, 2011

Warm-Up for Lent

This morning I was able to worship at my home church. I'm so glad I got myself over there; last night's snowfall made the prospect of staying home an extremely tempting one.

Some of the highlights:

Sitting between and talking with two friends with whom I've worked many times, one a middle school band teacher and the other a big-firm attorney, both of them men  passionately committed to the mission of the church;

A lively and moving rendition of the spiritual Ride the Chariot by the men of the choir, with a spectacular solo by a high school senior;

A dynamite sermon by our senior pastor on Acts 19: 23-28,* urging us to remember the both-and-ness of our call:  to live on the margins and to draw others to the center, and to be disturbed indeed about issues of justice and inclusion;

A terrific offering anthem described in the bulletin as a dithyramb, a  wild passionate Indian hymn using just one syllable to express uninhibited festivity on this last Sunday before Lent;

More conversations after church with friends whom I seldom see these days.

Look at those adjectives I used:  lively, moving, spectacular, dynamite, terrific. It was wonderful to worship without leadership responsibility in a service that was so filled with energy and variety and community.  

*We are off-lectionary these days, as the adult education classes are studying the Book of Acts, in part because it was just a good idea and in part because a group is leaving for Turkey in a few weeks.  Our pastors committed themselves to a preaching schedule that both accompanies the study and gives us all a taste of the texts that relate to the pilgrimage, which will trace some of Paul's steps.

Image: The Great Theatre at Ephesus, here, where the great riot against Paul took place 
and where I am not going anytime soon.


  1. how cool is that? I'm going to have to get over there one of these Presbys have great worship it seems!

  2. Wow, such a wonderful morning. Wise to resist the snowy lure of staying home. I love church when all those adjectives are part of it. I also go when they're not, but just totally prefer the former! It is inspiring and energizing.

  3. Your church sounds like a spectacular place indeed. But, for me, it was great to see you using adjectives like "lively, moving, spectacular, dynamite, terrific" to describe anything. You have journeyed far in the past few months.

  4. I noticed that, too, Lisa.

    An hour here, an hour there.

  5. yes, it sounds like a great community. I would have loved that worship service.