Carla’s Candids for Friday, September 20

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Seated in their “regular pew,” this couple had sandwiched in between them a woman whose face I did not recognize. After the service, we shook hands in the narthex and they introduced me to their good friend. As we exchanged pleasantries I could feel something “more” was unfolding but wasn’t sure what.
Later I learned that this church visitor was in town to eulogize a colleague who died unexpectedly. Knowing that their friend was flying out Sunday after a breakfast meeting they said to her “We wish you were free on Sunday as we would have taken you to our church.” To their surprise she rearranged her schedule and said she would love to go to church. Peace washed over their friend as the three of them worshiped on Sunday morning. As they left the church and walked to their car arm in arm, tears of joy spilled from their friends face as she shook her head in amazement at how much she had needed church that day.
I love this story because it reminds me that the reason we invite a friend to church is not because the church “needs them” or “needs to grow.” Rather we invite folks into the church because it has meant so much to us and we trust that it might mean so much to our friends. We invite those we care about to share with us in the spiritual energy that gives our own lives meaning and purpose, hope and peace.
I am grateful to Mike Graves and his team of leaders who have spent the last year revising our 11:00 a.m. worship to make it more…worshipful! And I am grateful to Paul Tucker, Sara Goering, Andrew Morris who strive each week to offer music that opens the door for us to experience the holy wonder of God. This week, our 11:00 a.m. service features a string quartet!
Worship means “to regard with extravagant respect, honor or devotion” (Webster’s, adapted). And Church means “the called out or the set apart.” And so the reason we come to church is to remember that God calls us to a different way of life. The music and words, the stained glass and the silence set the stage for us to experience the extravagant respect for the author of all life.
Grace and peace,