The beginning of June has been all about living into new patterns for life and worship at Christ the King. Not only have we begun to gather indoors for Sunday worship, but we have also begun our new summer worship schedule that the congregation voted on in our January annual meeting. With the incoming of the summer season, we are now hosting one in-person, indoors worship service on Sunday mornings, and one in-person, outdoors service on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, June 9th we had our second outdoor service, and this week we were on our campfire worship service night. Y'all....it was like the kingdom of God was in the here and now. Admittedly, worship itself wasn't theologically profound, but here's what was particularly beautiful about it...
The gathering of people- for many of those who gathered, it was the first time they had been in any kind of in-person worship setting in over a year. There were familiar faces, there were face that had aged a touch, there were smiling faces, and they were all together safely IN PERSON.
The sacredness and joy of baptism- part of our worship service included a remembrance of baptism. Worshippers came to the font and retrieved a sponge to drip water on those in their households and remind them of their baptism. This included a 3 year old (who was THRILLED to be back at church!) dribbling some water on a 92 year old with dementia and reminding him of his baptism. That 92 year old's response: "I remember, I'll remember." Later in worship, once the bowl had to be moved for the curious children present, a 2 year old showed us the complete joy of baptismal life by rejoicing in the refreshing living water through jumping in the bowl and having a seat. If all that's not a little glimpse of heaven, then I don't know what is.
Saints and servants of all ages- I think one of my favorite things about being church together is the gathering of people of all ages to love and serve God. We all come with different gifts and skills, and when we can share those gifts and skills with the community, it's a joy. Having one of our older adults run home to get wood for us to burn, and seeing a teenager work with a familiar adult to build a fire together-- THAT'S what serving the community looks like. Nobody asked ahead of time, but these individuals saw a need and stepped up to serve. For their gifts we give so much thanks!
Y'all- it was SO GOOD to be together again. Worship going forward is going to be different, because we as a community and we as individuals are different. There are some things that got lost during the pandemic that might not come back. But what HASN'T changed, is the incredible way that God is working through our community to remind us that we are beloved children of God, woven together by the power of the Holy Spirit. For that we sing and shout ALLELUIA!