Redeemer has started a new monthly service of praise and testimony. Last night was our first time doing it, and I was thrilled to see such a large crowd! Redeemer has chairs instead of pews, so they'd taken the back rows and arranged them in a semi-circle in the back of the church, still facing the altar, for an intimate and informal setting. Jenna had her keyboard set up at the end of the semi-circle, and as soon as I walked in, she motioned for me to sit with her and help lead the singing.
The service was lead by one of our laypeople (I'm assuming she's layperson), and it was awesome! There was no set program, but the evening flowed between times of singing and prayer and testimony. It was all very relaxed and encouraging. There was no pressure to speak or sing, but the atmosphere was so comfortable that several people shared a brief testimony or prayer request.
And as a reminder that we are never the ones in charge, halfway through the opening songs, the keyboard lost power. We all kept singing, and I thought, "Well, we can lead acapella if we have to," but Jenna, being the pro that she is, grabbed her guitar and started strumming away without missing a beat. Very cool moment, and definitely made everyone smile!
After the service, they had a small reception with tea, coffee, lemonade and snacks, and you could tell everyone had enjoyed themselves by the long lingering conversations. After helping with the clean-up, Jenna and I went to a local favourite where I tried Elvis cake.
Yes, Elvis cake - rich banana cake with peanut butter filling and cream cheese icing. Mercy! Only in the South...