The service was thrown together in so many ways. The students are all so busy this time of year with musicals and track and soccer and proms that getting them all together in one place at one time was nearly impossible. When it cam down to it: the boy who played the offeratory messed up badly and laughed (with Richard) during the middle of it. I was literally running copies 3 minutes before the service. And I never even read what the girl who was doing part of the sermon with me was going to recite! It seriously had disaster written all over it and the result: a miracle.
I stepped out in faith and put in an element of experiential worship. At the end of the service I had the youth stand in the center aisle and had the adults cheer for them, and then I asked them to keep cheering and imagine surrounding them "So great a cloud of witnesses" from the past 180 years who went before us to be with the Lord. And we finished with reading Hebrews 12:1-2. I really wasn't sure how'd they would respond and I told Richard beforehand that it was either going to be well received or an epic fail. (I contiously did not ask them to leave their pew because people in our church have a tough time giving up their assigned seat - you know, the frozen chosen). One woman even got out of her seat and gave all the students a hug.
How do I feel: relieved, and thankful, and hopeful. Hopeful, that it was a step of growth. Sometimes I feel like so much of church life is two sides pitted against each other (and lately it's been young v old). Hopeful, that we can see that we're different and worship different ways, but with the same goal: preserving the legacy of faith. The faith that has been passed down to us from Abel, and Noah, and Abraham, and Isaac, and time would fail me to speak of all those of the past and present who are leaving me and the younger generations a heritage of faithfulness.
I seriously only heard one complaint (and it was the standard, "this was so nice, I wish we could the kids in church every Sunday"). But I've resigned myself to that complaint. All in all, when the church secretary emails and tells you she heard nothing but good things: relief! Thank you Jesus! :)
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