It's been a long, but good, day!
This morning, we sang at All Saints Church. I've talked a lot about how much we love visiting All Saints, and today was no exception. The crowd was about 40 people, which is great for this small downtown church. The readings today included a story from Ruth, and the tale of the widow's mite (2 of my favourites) and Jeannie used them to preach a great sermon on compassion. After the sermon, Gerald sang "A Prayer Will Find You" which was calming and beautiful. During communion, we did "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" - a little uptempo for communion, but these are people who appreciate an extra jolt of joy.
After the service, we stayed for lunch. They provide a full lunch each Sunday for anyone who wants to stay, and it was a good chance to get to know the All Saints crowd. One thing about that congregation, you never know who you'll end up talking to, and you never know what may come out of their mouths! It's always vibrant, and sometimes a little outside reality, but the people there have good hearts and kind souls. We always come away humbled and blessed.
Tonight was our first official service at St. John's York Mills. I have to admit, I was a little nervous this afternoon. After all, they pursued us, and they want us to be part of a transformation, so we want to bring our best to the table.
It was a good 'soft' entrance into the new St. John's. Just because it used to be my former home church doesn't mean I'm assuming I know how it's all going to work. There is new leadership and new congregants and new ways of doing things. And Gerald and I aren't the same people or musicians we were three years ago.
As I put the poppy on my coat today, I realized that 3 years ago this weekend, we drove to Nashville to find our apartment and start our move south. How amazing that 3 years later, on the same weekend, we'd be starting this new chapter, back at St. John's?
The service tonight was wonderful! They call it a dialogue service because the sermon usually takes the form of a loose Bible study/discussion. Drew recently returned from a conference at Princeton, so that formed the topic of tonight's discussion. We opened the service with prayer, a psalm, and music. Monique was on piano, Gerald on guitar, and all of us on vocals. Our first set included "Praise to the Lord," "Indescribable," and a new one for us, "King of Love." On this one, Gerald took the vocal lead, and I sang harmony. What a gorgeous song! We ended the service with "They'll Know We are Christians by Our Love," with Gerald pumping a cool guitar groove and me on tambourine.
Next week, Monique is away, so we'll be leading the 9:30 service on our own. We'll meet with Drew tomorrow to plan. We just have such a good feeling about all of this, and tonight helped us to get even more excited. It's going to be an interesting year...