HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Today has, thus far, been wonderful. Lovely phone call from les parents, accompanied by slight pangs of homesickness. Lots of emails from friends, and a few e-cards thrown in. I missed a call from Newfoundland on my cell phone. Going to call them from a pay phone soon...
Gerald has written me a song for my birthday, and tonight we're going out for a romantic Italian dinner. It's strange being away from the rest of la familia today, but it's still a pretty awesome birthday. I have a new house, a new country, a new husband, and lots of dream-come-trues... What more could I ask for?
Okay, a little catch-up on what happened this weekend:
We did lots of dull things, like shopping around for a cell phone, buying a few groceries, blah, blah, blah. We did lots of small-but-satisfying things, like trying out our new fireplace and making hot chocolate in our new pawn-shop microwave. And we did some Nashville stuff, like jamming on our guitars, and establishing our new song-a-week challenge.
The fireplace is actually awesome! The weather is certainly not calling for fires, but I'm just so excited that we've had one every night. I've always wanted a fireplace, so now we light up at any excuse. (Wait, maybe I didn't phrase that quite right...)
Back in the cafe today. More Nashville observations: They have smoking in restaurants here! We Ontarionians (is that a word?) don't know how lucky we have it. Oh, and I've written before about how air condition obsessed they are here in Nashville, but who would think they'd still be at it in November! Seriously! It's lovely outside, but you still need to bring a jacket for inside the restaurant.
Oh, and it's 23C today. Happy Birthday to me!
Yesterday, I tried out a new church, Bellevue Community Church, or BCC for short. It was recommended by several people as having a great music program and great music people. I've been to many churches, but this is very different from any where I've ever been.
It's non-denominational, so I knew it wouldn't be Anglican and we wouldn't have Communion. I also knew it would have contemporary music. But here's what I wasn't expecting:
First off, it's HUGE! It's situated on acres and acres of property on a hill, so from the parking lot you can see for miles. They formed this church to appeal to the non-churched, or those who are uncomfortable in traditional churches, or those who've had bad experiences in church. So nothing about it looks like a traditional church. There are no crosses, icons, or stained glass windows. The seats are like those in a movie theatre, and the building is more event theatre than sanctuary.
The service was in the contemporary worship style: music, announcements, prayers, message, and out. The music leader for this week was Canadian, so I introduced myself to her after the service. Apparently, there are a lot of Canadians in the congregation. The sermon was fantastic. It was about living a life of gratitude. They're doing an 8-week series of sermons, so this was part of the series.
The whole environment, again, was very "un-churchy". I don't mean that as any sort of insult, because that's actually what they're aiming for. They want people to feel very comfortable in the presence of God. In between the 2 morning services, they have their coffee hour, which they actually call Happy Hour (nice!). They sell Starbucks coffee at 2-to-1 prices, to encourage buying a drink for a friend or newcomer.
And this church is very friendly and welcoming! I had tonnes of people say Hi, and the info desk gave me lots of info, and even the phone number of their music director. They have tonnes of programs in music and drama, and a lot of stuff for youth. They do a lot of outreach into the community, and have many volunteer opportunities. After the service, I even ran into 2 people I knew, which was sort of funny. I really enjoyed my visit, and will probably go back again.
And now, off to celebrate the rest of my day!