Sunday morning, I started at my home church. I hadn’t been there in weeks- maybe the last week in October. And other than the Longest Night service and a couple of grief group meetings, I won’t be back until March. I am doing an extended pulpit supply gig with First Pres Apopka.
So this week, I made a brief stop at Oviedo, where I collected a few hugs, dished out a “happy birthday” and lots of “miss you’s”. And then I was commissioned, not in the sense of the COM conferring a specific role, but in the sense that OPC was sending me to go and make disciples at a sister church as an extension of our ministry together.
It was an opportunity for me to say thank you for their prayers and encouragement and for all of us to remember what it means to be connectional in our polity and in our calling to raise up Ministers of Word and Sacrament for the body.
Then I scurried across town to FPA to lead worship, including sharing in communion together. The highlight for me was seeing a gal who has had some really rough times of late sitting in the back pew. I had invited her to come, knowing the church was unable to help her materially but trusting we could help her spiritually. Breaking bread together in the sanctuary and at fellowship after was lovely.
Then I spent the afternoon and evening at Epcot with the family. Dinner at Germany, the Candlelight Processional and fireworks… A tradition since we moved to Orlando.
The processional is like Lessons and Carols on steroids. A full orchestra, huge choir, gifted soloists and even herald trumpeters! Always glorious, and enhanced this year by a wonderful sign language interpreter.
As we watched fireworks, I thought about the people in my family, the people at OPC and FPA and the communities they represent. I think of the struggles we face and/or carry on behalf of others we love. So much pain in a world that needs desperately to know peace.
It made me think of communion and the mystery of being with God even as we remain here in the material world. And what a gift that day was- to see and feel God’s presence in so many people and places.
It was a very good day.