Warm days, lazy breezes, dogs on a walk, people on bikes – summer is so much fun! Before we get ready for school, harvest the last tomato and rake falling leaves, let’s enjoy the summer we have left! Worship this Sunday will be our annual outdoor worship. Instead of in the grassy sanctuary, we will meet at the North Pavilion at Reed-Keppler Park
Do you know the story of how Barbara Reed’s family donated the land for the park? We’ll be telling this story and other stories this Sunday as we experience faith and worship outside. We’ll have two guitars to accompany us and worship words in the bulletins. You may miss the screens and the piano at first, but I believe this worship will be a significant experience in your summer.
When I think of my outdoor worship experiences, one in particular strikes me as pivotal in my life. We were on a boundary waters trip with 14 others from our church. Divided into two camps we had few opportunities to be together. We came together for worship on Sunday morning at the water’s edge. Slabs of hard stone were our pews. The sun was hidden by clouds and I struggled to bring the Word of God to my fellow campers, most of whom were barely awake. Short and sweet was my intention, but even that was interrupted. A bird flew into our gathering space and for a while everyone just watched it. I let the grace of God overwhelm me and the Holy Spirit helped me speak words of grace and worship. The bird flew off and we sang a praise song. It was God’s worship, not mine. Though I was leading, I wasn’t in charge. I’ll never forget that lesson.
Jesus said that the stones will cry out to him if God wants. He said mountains can move with faith. He said that our clothing will always be less beautiful than the flowers and trees. Reading an agrarian based testimony of our relationship with God, I wonder why we don’t worship outdoors more. It’s so clear that nature has understood God better than humans.
Sunday we’ll delay the start until 10:10 so everyone can get to the park. We have Dave Purnell leading the music while Ron’s on vacation. If you bring a dish to pass – like sandwiches, fruit or chips, we’ll have a food table set up. Worship Hospitality is bringing water, some chairs and tables. Please bring your own table service – utensils, plate and cup.
This will be fun. Cause it’s summer and we’re chilling in the park with our friends in the faith.
Blessings on your summer however you are experiencing it.
Pastor Nancy Rethford