Sunday, July 8, 2007

Church today

Church today was mostly me (or, that's the way it seemed). We did have a reader for the 10:00 service. It was 81 degrees out on the lawn at 8:00. People sitting under the trees said that it was "bearable". High praise, I'm sure. I asked for something "cool" during the prelude and the keyboard player starting playing "Winter Wonderland." Everyone clapped.

It seemed like every hymn we chose had 5 or 6 verses. What were we thinking? Between the services, three women were talking about how much they liked one called "The summons." They asked where it was from. It is from the Iona community. It begins

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known?
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

It's unusual to hear positive comments about new hymns ever.

At 10:00, one of the ushers said it looked like it was going to be "intimate." It didn't look like there would be any children for the children's message except for one talented 5th grade boy. Two women about my age volunteered to come forward, and skipped up the aisle together. As well, there were three or four other children from another family who sneaked in after the last minute.

For me, the high point of the morning was the music of the brilliant 5th grade student. He played the prelude and offertory on the piano. We first heard him play when he was in 2nd or third grade. He is truly a child prodigy. I also enjoyed watching the older woman who sat behind him. She is a concert-trained pianist and organist. Every time he returned to his seat, I could see her whispering in his ear and patting him on the back. They both love music.

One parish member who likes to rate my sermons, gave me a "10" this week. He does have a set of criteria, which he has shared with me. So he's not just shooting in the dark. I said "thank you," but secretly didn't think today was my best. I think my chief critique of myself is that I didn't break any new ground, I didn't allow myself to really struggle with the text.

I did tell a couple of good stories.

Severe thunderstorms this afternoon disturbed our naps, but left the air cleansed. It's a new day. I'm looking forward to vacation.


RevDrKate said...

Your usher is a master of tact, "intimate" indeed. Love your skipping ladies, keyboard player's humor, talented boy. It sounds like a place where people feel free to be themselves Great post, felt like I was there!

DogBlogger said...

Cool -- we sang "The Summons" at first service this morning! (Only 3 of the verses, though: "Will you let the blinded see" "Will you love the 'you' you hide" and "Lord, your summons echoes true...")

Diane said...

lutherans have to sing all of the verses. It's the LAW

Gannet Girl said...

I LOVE "Will you come and follow me?" We sing lots of Iona music and that's one of my favorites. Maybe my favorite.

Gannet Girl said...

Nope, I forgot. My all time Iona favorite is "Take this moment."

Barbara B. said...

I loved hearing about your church -- sounds like it was cool (in spite of the heat).

Rowan The Dog said...

I believe in singing all the verses too. It SHOULD be a law.

My favorite hymn is Once To Every Man and Nation by James Russell Lowell. I am sure he intended for all the verses to be sung.

He was a poet too.

(Rowan's guardian)

PS - Do you ever post yuor sermons?

cb said...

Any chance you might consider sharing your sermon thoughts with us? Personally, I could use the words.


Diane said...

I do, sometimes, post my sermons. I think they're a litte long, compared to others I've read on-line, and trying to figure out how to make them more user-friendly (bigger type, e.g., or something to break up paragraphs)

Serena said...

I too love The Summons ... and although I don't buy the law that all verses of all hymns have to be sung all the time ... the story The Summons tells is, in my humble opinion, best told when you don't leave any of it out.

Your worship service sounds "warm" in the relational meaning of the word. Thanks for sharing.