Somehow, it’s Monday morning already. The General Assembly began a mere 36 hours ago, but it’s been a jam-packed couple of days. I’m opting out of the morning session today in order to find a quiet corner and reflect back on everything that’s happened so far.
(We’ve been posting short updates on our Facebook page; check those out here.)
The Assembly began with worship Saturday night. As I’ve said before, there’s nothing quite like two thousand Disciples gathered in a convention center assembly hall singing God’s praise. Terri Hord Owens offered the sermon (a few highlights here), which was a word of reassurance of the comfort we find in God and the challenge to pay attention when we get a little too comfortable.
The best part of worship for me was the family worship area, which my kids took full advantage of. The organizers did a great job of providing kid-friendly worship materials to engage children during worship, and they made it clear that it was okay if the kids didn’t sit still and be quiet – kids need to move and talk to process what’s going on. My son particularly loved the small inflatable guitars, with which he rocked out during every song.
Sunday morning, I had the honor of guest preaching at Grace of God Lutheran Church, and it was great fun to hear about the good work that congregation is doing, as well as to see Disciples from all over the country. I was particularly touched by the way the pastor of Grace of God included children in worship; among other things, he invited all the kids to the back of the sanctuary at the end of the service, and they pronounced the benediction together. So beautiful.
After church, I had lunch with some former members of First Christian who relocated to Ohio a few years ago. It was great to catch up with them — they sent their greetings and told me how important their time at FCC was for their family.
In the afternoon, I attended a workshop on narrative budgeting, which sounds boring, but was really exciting: How does our congregation’s budget tell the story of the ministry we are doing? I’ll be mulling this over more and talking to some of you about it. (Looking at you, Stewardship Team.)
In the evening, I went to an event called “Books and Hymns” held at a nearby brewpub. It was equal parts book reading, party, and old-fashioned hymn sing, and all around good fun.
Baylee had a full day yesterday, too – she’ll share her experiences in a post later this week. Shannon’s here too, representing our youth group well. I haven’t seen her yet, but she assured me by text that she’s having a blast and promised to send a picture soon. Thanks for making it possible for us to be here. It’s good to be the church together.
–Lee Hull Moses