What a life-giving Sunday we had — a full house for Soul Sparks and Worship! If you weren’t able to join us, know that you were there in spirit.
I knew this time would come: I blinked, and already I’ve been at First Church for a couple of the months. Because my next few newsletter articles are going to be geared towards Holy Week and Easter, I want to take the time this week to comment on a few things you might have noticed in my ministry.
–I am serious about getting to know each of you! If you haven’t yet gotten a note or a call inviting you to meet, it will be coming soon. Better yet, reach out to me, and invite me for a coffee at your favorite place in town, or at your home. I know it can seem intimidating to visit one on one with a pastor, but I really have no hidden agenda, just the desire to better understand my people’s hopes, struggles and joys.
-If you’ve been in worship recently, you’ve also noticed that my sermons have invited some participation. Two weeks ago, thinking about Jesus in the desert, we used Post-It Notes to write down the temptations, anxieties, and uncertainties we wanted to find freedom from. Last Sunday, thinking about the Samaritan woman at the well, we turned to our neighbor and talked about a life-changing conversation we had experienced.
Thank you all for taking a risk, and jumping into these moments with me! We won’t always include “audience participation” during worship, but it is heartening to see the way you have embraced it. “Liturgy,” which is often used as a synonym for the order of worship, actually means “the work of the people” — ie, you!
One advantage of our informal worship space is that no one can really just sit back and watch the sermon and music like a big screen TV. We are all intimately involved, mixed up among each other. As our Scripture stories this Lent have suggested, I think God likes it that way.
God is far more interested in us sharing our full selves than us performing for each other. As you continue to get to know me, and as I continue to get to know you, that’s a great thing to remember. As our bright new banner outside says, “Be the church!”