I’ve got a few too many plates spinning, so this will be short.
I was invited to preach at a church about an hour from my home. This group met in a school gymnasium. It is a ‘church plant’ congregation, so it has not been in existence for much more than a decade. I arrived 16 minutes early, and got some last minute details arranged, talked to a few people, and met a seminary classmate colleague who was stopping in on his vacation hoping to meet and congratulate the newly called pastor of the congregation. He was still sorta happy to see me. The set-out seats were half-filled by the time the service got going. The people attending were predominantly white (those of other colours were mainly some adopted black children) but I did not get a sense they were all of a common cultural background. The music was good, an interesting mix of bongo drums (and a few other percussion instruments creatively used), electric guitar, electric keyboard and violin. We were well-led, but the vast space of a gymnasium, with several rows of empty seats and other space keeping singers far from musicians made it hard to get “into” the singing. I did not know a few of the songs sung. But the one before the message had a strong sense of worship to it, so that put me into an energized frame.
People seemed attentive to the message I brought.
The service was well run for it’s efficient frugality. What I mean by that is, similar to the church last week, there were not a lot of long-winded announcements, explanations or prayers (there were several short prayers scattered through the service, the longest one being offered after a time of hearing requests). I heard key elements of what we take to be Reformed worship represented in the service, but they were not clear and distinct and thus time consuming liturgical components.
I have one more such local engagement next Sunday. After that (this is one of the plates I’m spinning) I might be able to start an interim assignment in a small church about a 5 hour drive from where I am. Details are being worked on.
Another plate is a project of helping coordinate a Cyber-conference. See http://www.crc150.org/wp for more on that. Maybe you want to participate?