This week's newsletter article is not inspired prose...
The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. --1 Timothy 1:1-3 The Message
I’ve been thinking a lot about worship lately. Our evening service is almost 6 months old, and it’s time for us to take a look at how it’s going. I’ve been listening to all kinds of music to help the worship team come up with songs to teach the congregation, and Christian music is like any other kind of music. Some of it’s really good, and some of it’s pretty ordinary, and there’s some that’s just flat awful. It’s like any other kind of music: we need to listen carefully to what it says and where it’s coming from.
We’ve been listening to some modern worship music from revival communities in England and London, and their music reminds us to honor and give glory to God in reaching out to other people, and also to pray as part of our “everyday” worship of God. This coming Sunday, we’re going to have a slightly different evening worship service: we’re going to spend our time worshiping “simply, in humble contemplation,” with quieter music and some special time for prayer and meditation. It will be different from our normal Sunday night, but I hope it will be a time of real worship and calmness in the presence of God and one another.
Just to get you in the mood to join us Sunday at 7 in the fellowship hall, let me share with you something I read this week, and which I misquoted last night: Annie LaMott says that basically all prayers boil down to two phrases: Thank you, and help. As a good Southern girl, I mistranslated “help” as “please,” but I don’t really think we lost anything. The essence of prayer is that we can ask God to help, please, in whatever situations we are facing or know about, and have confidence that our prayers are heard, that there’s a “thank you, Lord” to be said. And there’s a lot to thank God for before we even get to the asking.
So this Sunday night, join us for our Evening Worship at 7. Bring your “help, please”-es and your “thank you”-s (yes, I know that is terribly fractured grammar) to our time of worship and prayer together. Everyone’s invited!
In other news, I have officially applied for a Doctor of Ministry program at Drew University's Theological School. It remains to be seen whether I get in; my application is not yet complete, but we're down to waiting for one last letter of recommendation. It's fixin' to take up whatever spare time I had left, but I'm excited about it. Think happy thoughts!