Everyone worships something

Once a year we have our Sunday worship gathering in a park. It’s intentional though started by necessity. It began by needing to vacate our building that shelters a maximum of 100 men for at least six hours while the electricity was turned off to install a generator. The generator is needed in the event of power loss from a hurricane. (Since hurricane season is one of our two seasons...

Let’s add the Candle of Mess to our Advent this year

Our pianist has only been with us a few months. She’s an outsider to our community and our church traditions. A church woman herself, she answered the ad we placed for a pianist needed: Sundays, 8:45 – 10:15 a.m. She walked through the doors our first Sunday of Advent, greeted me as I said, “it’s Advent, you never know what’s going to happen so hold on.” I’m not sure if...

Shalene and Freddy

We came as visitors, in town for a pastors conference. We gathered at a true community center for Sunday morning church. Her name was Shalene. Her hard ‘r’s’ and sweet tea accent made me think she’s native to this part of Georgia. She took the stage to lead the Praise and Worship part of the service. The name the church has given to songs played more on guitar than keys,...

Triumphant Entry

When I walked in the chapel there were white towels on the back of every chair. I didn’t know why but I knew they were a sign that someone was prepared for their participation and how proud I am that they take care of every detail. I had the outline for our Palm Sunday service drafted before we left two weeks ago. I texted the dancer while we were away...

Oh, save now!

Today is the day many will gather in churches big and small, with and without traditional sanctuaries, dressed in suits and dressed in tattered jeans, today is the day calling all who believe to wave palm branches or the singles fronds, to shout in song and voice calling out as did the crowd in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago did, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who...

God of all or not at all

It can get so routine. Life. To the office, meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, allergy shots on Thursday mornings, grocery shopping Thursday evening or Friday morning, breakfast at Panera Bread Saturday and church Sunday where someone will read scripture, pray, most of us will join singing in the songs, some will not. A message will be shared, another song, another prayer and we leave. Routine. It is too easy for...

Five-Minute Friday: [Worship]

As always, I’m linking up with hundreds of other writers on Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog for Five-Minute Friday. To join or read more takes on this week’s prompt, click here. go I wonder what others think I worship? Is it the technology I reach for before getting out of bed and typically are reading from before going to sleep? Is it appearance? Maybe it’s manners or hard work or art or...

When we need to praise

They weren’t singing last night. Not to my liking. I looked across the room of 90+ men and saw too few voices mouthing the words to the song playing, the words projected on the screen. Words proclaiming God’s love for us and their faces were tired, disinterested. I had them stand to sing because I feared they fall asleep otherwise. Is it because we’re still meeting around tables in the...