Monday Morning Musings (a.k.a., Sunday Afternoon Ramblings, Monday edition)

What an awesome Sunday! After a great week highlighted by time spent with family and plenty of turkey, it was so invigorating to be back in the house of God to worship with our church family! And what a wonderful time of worship it was! Here are some thoughts on the service as a whole.

First off, a big thanks goes to the various people that do things around the church while no one is looking or everyone is too busy to care. Connie W and Joan C came to clean the church the other day, even though they weren’t really signed up to do so! Nicole and a handful of others make and distribute coffee every Sunday morning. And yesterday in particular, Jerry A sat in the nursery while I finished a few things up and then sat in on the first part of Sunday School, and Donna A sat in the nursery during the worship in place of Sue H. And Keith I is always ready to assume control of the slideshow when there is someone needing prayer at the altar. Thank you to everyone who helps realize our worship services!

Yesterday, Adoration led the worship with the same excellence we have come to expect of them. It is amazing to me to think that the group held its first rehearsals only 9 months ago! They do a wonderful job, and the song selection yesterday, including the two new songs, were the perfect start to a great service. Thank you to Angela M, Pat K, Keith I, and Nicole for your diligence to hone and share your gifts with us!

As Norma W said on her way out, I thought the message was one of the best I could have delivered. Oh, wait. I didn’t speak. Well, the message was excellent as well. Pastor Sharon’s challenge to align our wants and desires with God’s will and then expect Him to do far more than we could ever possibly imagine was right on target. Our God has amazing plans for us, and He can and will do anything and everything to see them accomplished, if only we’ll let Him move!

Truly, the morning services yesterday were great! But they were far from the only things that we had going on yesterday!

After worship, Nicole, the kids and I went out to run a few errands in preparation for the Hanging of the Greens celebration last night. The thing was scheduled to start at 4:30 pm, but at 4:15 pm, just as we were getting ready to head for the church, we realized that there were already people in the facility! People were so excited that they came early to help decorate for Christmas! And with good reason. We had a wonderful time decorating the facility for the Advent season. When everything was said and done, the place looked great, and the soup cook-off was a tremendous success for the second year in a row. If you missed it on Facebook, Tina J won the cook-off with her potato soup. Yes, she beat my chili by one vote. But truly, all of the soups were excellent! Thank you to everyone who came to help decorate, fellowship, and taste-test! If you had fun, make sure to tell people next year! And if you missed it, you will want to clear your schedule on or about the last Sunday in November, 2010!

Looking ahead, I would like to take a moment to encourage you to invite friends and family members – anyone who needs a good dose of hope – to join us during the advent season as we consider how the advent of the Christ child ignites hope in every area of our lives. More specifically, we’re going to be exploring what the Incarnation means for people in broken relationships, financial hardship, current events, and sin. I am very excited about the series because it will allow us to explore what the prophet meant when he said “He shall be called Immanuel.”

 

One more thought before I conclude for today. Yesterday, I received a very insightful note from a very good friend who has been searching for a few weeks for a church home where he lives. His experience at a couple of different churches has compelled me to rethink some of my priorities as far as my Sunday morning activities at the church. In short, I want to challenge all of us to be mindful of guests in our services and their unique needs. We’ll be talking more about this note in upcoming leadership meetings and other appropriate venues, but you can expect us to really redouble our efforts to provide a welcoming atmosphere for everyone who walks through our doors.

In conclusion, I would ask that we all be praying for Sheri K and Tom K, both of whom lost their mothers yesterday. Join my in asking the God of Peace to provide the strength and comfort that they will need to get through the coming hours and days.

And that’s all for now. As always, I remain absolutely ecstatic about the things that God is doing in and through our congregation. He has amazing things planned for us – things we can’t even begin to comprehend. Yet. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

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