I went to church last Sunday.
I went to church and I was inspired, touched and even changed. I went to church, sat by myself, said my prayers, sang the songs, thought about what a good and subtle homily I heard--and most of all, I felt like I belonged to something that was more than my voice, my heart, my mind and my soul. That's quite an experience. The belonging part is really something--both giving me a gift, and asking something of me in return.
Of course maybe such an experience isn't so remarkable. Maybe that's what happens when most folk sit down in the their local spot on a Sunday morning. I can't really say because for most of my life when I "go to church" I'm really "going to work." But last Sunday I just went, as I said, and I belonged. I've been dreaming about this for a long time--years, really. And I've even tried it a few times over the years--just showing up at Grace on a Sunday morning. But last week it really, finally happened. I finally let myself just show up--letting go of function and performance and the need to get things done. I also kept quiet--so I could hear our voice, and even God's voice. No small thing for me.
I learned, naturally, that Grace is truly a good place to go to church. I heard our voices blend into one, in a way that I can never quite hear from my usual seat. I witnessed the active participation and it seemed clear that people were not here on Sunday morning simply to keep a seat warm. We are seeking and finding; giving and forgiving. It's all very, very real. And, quite candidly, its' not dependent on me. Honestly, when Claudia Velie, at church on her 10th birthday, turned and shared the Peace with me, hugging me warmly and honestly, I knew something--I knew that this place has a voice and a way that is real and genuine.
This week, this Sunday, we will be celebrating our life, our way, through our "Annual, Annual Meeting," and in both the homily and my remarks at the meeting I want to spend some time marking our voice and our way. It's something I both want and need to do.
So, see you soon. See you in church.
And yes, to find out more about the Annual Meeting, and the really good stuff and story of "managing" Grace, follow this simple link. Take a look. It's worth it. Really worth it.