Monday, September 11, 2006

Thankful for an open church

I guess it's the rain that is making me reflective this morning. I'm in a hotel room reflecting on worship yesterday (a pastor's addiction) and getting ready for meetings today (a pastor's obligation). Yesterday at Montecito Covenant Church, we focussed in on Jesus' baptism. We are going through the life of Christ all year (our own type of lectionary) and yesterday was baptism, next Sunday is temptation, money, call of disciples, etc.
The music yesterday was quite a spread, from a semi-country prelude piece "Children of God" to a contemporary Irish hymn by Keith Getty, to a Civil War hymn "O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus". During scripture we sang the Psalter for Psalm 29 and I acted as cantor (the congregation sang along well), then before the sermon that devotional chorus "All Who are Thirsty". The end of the service drew us to a hymn by the English hymnist Brian Wren "In Water We Grow" and that's where we didn't. The musical line was too new and I did not provide teaching of the tune to the congregation. So it limped along.
But, you know what? Nobody complained or growsed that I chose a hymn that did not fly. Instead, I had a number come up afterwards and some email me their appreciation for being stretched and pushed. Tell me how much fun that is? This church gives me the freedom to flop wonderfully! And I, in trun want to reciprocate and encourage members and friends to try great things boldly for God, even if they sometimes flop.


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