Posted by: Peaceful Social Worker | March 25, 2012

Great church folks

There are some neat things happening in our congregation of St. Luke’s United Church. Today was a day for a worship team to lead the service. Two people who have avoided speaking from the front of the church participated. Both are quite confident men. They both did a great job. One lead the service….a very scary task. The other did the bible readings. Also scary when those big names come into play….and they did today. Add a new sound system, and there was an excellent opportunity for nerves to kick in. Both appeared calm and looked like old pros. I don’t mean old in age, in case anyone gets that idea!! It is always neat to see the gifts of the congregation come out. It helps build community as we get to know each other better.

The man who was in charge of the sermon today took on a big task. He has written sermons for us in the past. Usually these sermons involve some “audience” participation. He has been known to ask us skill testing questions. We have risen to the occasion quite well. Most times. He has also been known to haul the big lectern (as pictured) half-way down the aisle, so everyone can hear when he had no microphone. I don’t know if you can tell by the picture, but that baby is solid wood….and heavy! He also has a booming voice, so theoretically, he could stay put and be heard. Since he is a man who likes to make sure everyone can be comfortable, he moved the pulpit. 🙂 Today, he had us do a responsive reading of our newest faith statement, “The Song of Faith” (http://www.united-church.ca/beliefs/statements/songfaith) This was only written within the last ten years, and has been a bit controversial. It is poetry. It is a song. For those who like solid, concrete statements, it is a bit of a challenge. For those of us who love metaphor and music, it is a delight.

Here is a piece from it:

The fullness of life includes

   moments of unexpected inspiration and courage lived out,

   experiences of beauty, truth, and goodness,

   blessings of seeds and harvest,

      friendship and family, intellect and sexuality,

   the reconciliation of persons through justice

      and communities living in righteousness,

      and the articulation of meaning.

And so we sing of God the Spirit,

      who from the beginning has swept over the face of creation,

      animating all energy and matter

      and moving in the human heart.

It was nice to read through this statement of faith in this way. It made it feel more alive. It made me pay attention to what I was reading and feel the message it brings. I might feel some blog posts arising out of it…..

After church we spent a lot of time chatting over coffee. We have some newer members who bring more youth and energy to the congregation. This is always a good thing! We used to have a lively Sunday School, and for several reasons, we don’t have that now. We are a bit typical of many United Churches these days, where the youngest person is often about 50. Of course, that is not good, so having younger people join us is wonderful. Seeing them enjoy our congregation is even better. You can’t imagine how excited we were when we had three babies in the church recently……

We headed over to our local coffee shop after church, and continued the conversation we started over coffee in the sanctuary. We will be setting up a Facebook page and group to help share information. We’ll get a Twitter account going. We want to have more of a viable presence in the community. We talked about this, and how it would work. One woman has bought a bible study book. There was excitement about getting together to work through it. There was a great discussion about being shy, and about finding or silencing our voices. That may very well be another post down the road.

I love being part of this congregation, and being part of the United Church as a whole. It is nice to see the growth happening in small ways. As we approach Easter, we are reminded that with death comes new life. We’ve had times where we’ve felt like we were going to die as a congregation. It is nice to see new life coming. Both within the walls of the church, and outside where spring seems to be making a slow, gentle entrance.

Grateful for God’s loving action,

   we cannot keep from singing.

Creating and seeking relationship,

   in awe and trust,

we witness to Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love.

 

Amen.

~Song of Faith

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Responses

  1. sounds exciting that your community is finding new life and joy together!

    • It is neat. We went through some rough times a couple of years ago. I think we can go to neat places now. 🙂

  2. Love the picture of the Church, and the cross made out of wood. It’s a very nice piece of song poetry (quite long but inclusive!). Thank you so much for sharing as you’re right, it’s not easy to share what’s in our hearts, but it’s necessary, as according to Abigail Thomas, in Thinking About Memoir http://tinyurl.com/7zehtgt.

    Thank you for sharing. 😀 Brings peace as always… 😀

    Pink.

    • Thanks Pink. It is a nice church. I think the cross and the altar came from the original Anglican church that this building partially replaced. We share with an Anglican congregation.

      • Yes, you inspired me at lunch today to chat with my Christian friend for her to start giving sermons as she has helped me out soooo much in my life. She’s definitely going to look to spread worship in her Church too, which is great! I totally told her about your worship teams and how young energy is needed. Thanks for inspiring here us in Calgary! 😀

      • Thanks for the great feedback! Always appreciated.

  3. That’s way cool, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks robby. If you are ever travelling the Alaska Highway, please stop in and introduce yourself. 🙂 We’re a great bunch.


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