Although I’m still soaking in the good vibes from last Sunday, I wanted to share some of my random highlights from the day. Of course, there were many others, but here are some of my favorites:     

MAC’S GRAB! – As I handed a “back-to-school crosses to each of our “kids” sitting on the ledge, Mac Watkins broke thru the line from behind, took his cross, and promptly asked, “Do I eat it?” The boy just couldn’t wait for Communion!

JEFF’S PIPES! – Of all the good things in our service Sunday, or for that matter, on any Sunday, Jeff Bowyer’s consistently awesome performances always take the day. Last Sunday he sang “In the Garden” for us. And as he sang, we all walked thru that garden together … talking with Jesus as He tells each one of us, “You are my own.”

MIKE’S MESSAGE! – Reverend Johnson’s (and Glenna’s) mere presence with us ramped up the Spirit power in the sanctuary Sunday, but His message is what sticks with us: “Learning to Love Leavened Bread.” The truth of the Leavened Bread is the same as the truth of the Kingdom of God: As God’s Holy Spirit kneads its way into our life, we begin to warm, and then rise, and we come to know that the change we so feared was actually God’s will urging us forward into our future together.

THE “SUPPER” LINE – As the Communion Procession begins, I usually go to the back of the church and sit by the doors and pray. Last Sunday the line for the Lord’s Supper reached from the front of the church to the back. God’s pilgrims, all unique and beautiful, lining up and waiting together to be fed at His Table. Watching that line slowly inch forward was one of the most sacred and holy experiences of the day for me.

THAT HYMN! – Honestly, I’m a sucker anytime a congregation sings “Here I Am, Lord.” Last Sunday’s rendition was one of the most powerful versions of that song I’ve ever heard. From Karen’s playing to your singing, it was as if we all were one – one voice, one heart, one spirit. I’m sure that God not only heard our collective response to the question, “Whom shall I send?” and we sang … “Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I will go, Lord. I will hold your people in my heart.”

IN THIS VERY ROOM – OK, I’m allowed 2 hymns for this list …. And Sunday’s Communion hymn, “In This Very Room,” sounded more like an affirmation of who we are than just another hymn to sing. We say it every Sunday, in so many different ways, but it’s true: Love is the answer to the world today, and with Christ’s love, “it only takes a spark to get a fire going!” The love in the sanctuary Sunday was palpable as church family, friends and guests (strangers, but not for long) fell into love with Jesus, all over again.

ONE CHURCH – If you were there Sunday, did you notice this? It seemed that after about 5 or 10 minutes into the service, the congregation melded together in a way that looked like one big church family that shows up together every Sunday. I love it when the guests enjoy the service as much as the regulars. And that sure seemed to be the case. Just by showing up, we all get caught up in the work of the Holy Spirit, and by the time the service is over, without a doubt we know that we have been revived by God’s “Sweet, Sweet Spirit.”


A POWER LINE – When I asked (begged) all the students in church Sunday to take a seat on the ledge that separates the Overflow Space, I had no idea there wouldn’t be enough room for all of them. As they all sat on that ledge, from infants and toddlers to high school seniors, one could glimpse the future of the church. But also, importantly, the present. We have prayed hard for a church where all generations could feel at home, could feel fed by the worship, and could say year after year, this is our church! The “kids” on that wall hold the future of our church in their hands. Let us listen well to their words.

EYE TO EYE – Along with the joy of seeing all the kids sitting on the ledge together, I was blessed to receive an even greater gift. Blessing each student as I went down the line handing out the blessing crosses, I took the opportunity to look each one in the eye, and prayerfully plant a seed of love and hope in their hearts. When all is said and done, that may be the most lasting and significant moment of the day.

UNSEEN ANGELS – As we were all worshipping upstairs, a group of “Kitchen Angels” was working diligently downstairs to prepare for the feast to come. And what a feast it was! Finally! A good ole fashioned potluck that filled fellowship hall. Yes, it was like old times. Except, it wasn’t! It was now. And it was us. These selfless servants who made it all possible. And for a whole Sunday morning at church, not a peep was heard about any pandemic. No, COVID hasn’t gone away. But we are moving on!

THE VIEW – Bruce Condill is right! The view of the congregation on Sunday from the front of the church was one exhilarating site. I hadn’t been up to the pulpit lately, and the view from there is especially moving. Men and women, teens and young kids, toddlers and infants, family and friends, neighbors and strangers (but not for long!), all gathered together in the Lord’s House for worship. Once, when I looked out at the pews, I thought I saw about 5,000 pilgrims (families) on the side of a hill, listening to Jesus teach. And then they got hungry. And then all were fed, and all were filled!

SPIRIT FED/SPIRIT LED – I often like to say, “The Spirit of God is with the people of God.” There was a big-time Spirit in the room Sunday, and it wasn’t just from outside. God’s Spirit was alive and active Sunday in the congregation. And it had the feel of a Pentecost – when the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and landed upon each one of the disciples, and they each were given spiritual power to fulfill their calling. Underneath everything else that was going on Sunday, let us not forget the workings of the Holy Spirit, and its effect on those in its presence.

THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN – For everyone who was able to make it to church on Sunday, the day was filled with blessings. But one of the major blessings of the week was the selfless and silent work behind the scenes that Shawn Vanausdoll performed for us. Sunday’s service required a whole lot of prep work, and Shawn put in the hours throughout the week to make it all flow seamlessly. Not to mention, the man in the booth hitting the buttons at just the right times, Jeff Bowyer.

NOW — Take some time to reflect yourself – at what points in the service could you feel God’s presence with you and/or in the room?

And we’ll do it all over again this Sunday, and I hope you can join us ….

Grace & Peace, Pastor Bob <><