I forgot to mention that at the last Thursday service I went to there they had butterfly decorations. (I was reminded because they were still up today.) Banners on each side, and on my left hanging down over the chancel (my left) large butterflies.
The bulletin on the front said "Why are you troubled? -Lk, 24:38" and below:
Worship begins with the prelude. As the music begins, please honor your neighbor in the pew by observing quiet as we prepare for the liturgy to begin. We hope your time with us today will be meaningful. Please return often to worhsip God with us.
Theme for Worship Today - The church gathers in the power of the risen Lord. Here in this assembly, Christ opens the scriptures and revealrs himself to us. At the table as the bread is broekn, we see that his life has been given for us, so that our fractured lives might be healed.
I haven't been to a service at Emmanuel Lutheran in quite some time. Everyone processes in dressed all in white with white cords around their waists (which make me think of friars with vows of poverty). Even the pastor's stole was white, though later I noticed that at the bottoms in red they had those plus signs I see in the bulletins that designate making the sign of the cross and underneath that an alpha and an omega (one on each).
At one point during the service I looked up at the choir (above and behind the congregation) and John was dressed in a suit (was kinda like seeing Grant at a Smith concert, I think) and his hair was much shorter than last time. After the service Lauren was talking to him and it turns out the guy who was cutting his hair kinda messed up -- he had only wanted a few inches taken off -- but he was pretty okay with it (only hair and all).
Since my last conversation with Lorraine (about Singspiration I think) I've been more aware than usual of the tunes of the hymns. Gotta say I was unimpressed today.
+ Christ Has Arisen, Alleluia
+ Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing
+ Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen
+ Around You, O Lord Jesus
+ We Who Once Were Dead
Plus of course the usual chanty type ones printed right in the bulletin and part of the service.
The Recessional was Let All Things Now Living, though, which I sang just because it's such an up hymn (and church singing is often so weak it's hard not to want to contribute to actual spirit).
1 John 3:1-7
The sermon used as its hook the common current phrase "get real" and as it is Eastertide I trust the theme is obvious. He told a story of a guy who went to see the Holy Sepulcher and when he got there his initial reaction wasn't what he had expected; he actually muttered aloud something along the lines of, "Why did I wait in line so long in the hot sun to see this? It's just an empty tomb." A woman a bit ahead of him heard him and said, "Isn't that just the point, sir?" Pastor Saling has an engaging style, so I wasn't bored during the sermon, but I did have a sense of not really taking anything away from the sermon.
"We missed you," he said when he shook my hand at the end of the service. "I know. I missed my train," I said. Except I didn't know since he hadn't been there last time I was there, so really I meant to say "Thank you" but didn't. Sigh.
Announcments included the Interfaith Picnic in the Park next Sunday.
Bring your own picnic lunch, and a dessert for the sharing table.
I was kinda miffed by the lack of free foodage, but I can understand that that would be a serious sinkage of capital to feed a slew of people, plus they have no real sense of how many people are even coming I would bet. There will me music from both Pastor Hamilton and Pastor Saling, which I'm looking forward to.
Also next Sunday, the 8:45 service will include a presentation of Vivaldi's Gloria.
John said, "It is your job to bring a friend."
I was gonna rotate to the Congregational next week, but I think I'll stay for this.
Browsing the announcement insert:
"Join the Adult Bible Study every Sunday morning between servics from 10-11 AM downstairs in Room 11. We continue with the Gospel Side-By-Side, looking at stories found in all four Gospels. Everyone is invited and each week is a new start!"
Yeah, definitely gonna have to try that at least once.
My mom went to the Congregational this morning, so she took notes and told me about it.
"We live by telling ourselves stories."
-Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
The Processional was I Love to Tell the Story, which is definitely one of the more up songs, but which I always feel uncomfortable around -- I suspect because of my discomfort in actually claiming Christianity.
Scripture: Matthew 13.10-13. Sermon title: "Parables"
The sermon was the second of (at least?) three lay sermons. This one given by Ken L., whom I remember from Beginnings and whom I believe just officially became a member of the church. My mom said he was a very good public speaker -- minimal notes, good flow, etc. IIRC he comes from some sort of professional background.
He told some stories, and the one that struck me most was from a story about military medals, about how you show up every day and serve, and the people who get medals aren't unqiue or any better than anyone else, they just happened to be in the right place at the right time. This also connected to talk about the dark times when it's harder to have faith and being comforted by the stories of people of faith who have been through similar or worse.
Pastor Hamilton talked about the power of stories and how he was once asked to give advice to seminarians starting at their first churches and he recommended that they check out the historical room of the church because the church is formed by the history and people that have come before, and also the importance of the minister not being the only one telling the stories but the laity being involved as well.