So today was an interesting day at First Pres Church. They announced last week that this Sunday would be the last day of the chapel service for a little while … that it will be on hiatus for a bit. There have been some major changes at our church this year and this one has definitely rocked some people.
So today, the pastors each took a part of the sermon and spoke of memories and such of the contemporary services. All 3 of them seemed to speak directly from their lives, from their hearts. Very touching. At one point, Pastor Rose opened up the discussion to the congregation … what are people’s visions or memories of this space? What do they love about it, what do they hope it will become or remain?
It was probably the most honest, humbling, and moving services that I’ve been to in a long time. Opening up a discussion like that, especially in a church setting is bound to cause disagreement and argument. I will admit, I was a little nervous when she suggested others chime in with their thoughts to the entire congregation. These people never cease to amaze me. They shared stories and memories, they shared visions of welcome, love and peace that they hope for this service, they shared their hearts. It was one of those moments when people opened their hearts and listened to one another. They were honest. They were sad. They were hopeful. They laughed and cried with one another. It was real. People were able to take down their masks, at least for a few minutes and really connect with one another over a common passion.
It was gorgeous.
My hope for that service is to continue the honesty of welcome, love, communication, and hope. That it can be a place to be real and honest and a sacred place to worship God.
until next time, friends…