Had a fascinating day in the life of a pastor today. First off, it started with my wife heading out early this morning. She was preaching so that means she handled the 8:30am service and I would bring the kiddos later for worship. Good deal for me.
Worship this morning was lovely. Then I took the kiddos home and K went to go play with our African Marimba choir at the Crop Walk at TCU. Trinity continued a tradition of supporting this ministry. Reminded ourselves who live in the relatively affluent TCU/Tanglewood area of Fort Worth that there are hungry in our midst. They rocked it of course, then she came home. Which was good because then I left to go to the installation of a new pastor at King of Glory Lutheran Church.
Just an aside, King of Glory is on the far east side of Fort Worth. Basically in Arlington. Founded in 1966 (the glory days of church planting and suburban growth in that part of Fort Worth) it has been a small but persistent community. Today, the mother of one of Trinity's most faithful members is a big part of their ministry and we are grateful for them as partners on the east side. They are a presence in their community because they host recovery groups and invite everyone to hear the message of God's grace. Trinity recently had two foursomes play in the east side ministries golf outing because of that connection. It is good to be part of ministry in all of our city.
But unfortunately I had to leave early from that installation (as such, I am not in the picture). The reason I left is that I was heading over to a ministry we are partnering with in the Fairmont area of Fort Worth. This is the "hip" area of town. An area of redevelopment and also urban decay. One in which you are as likely to hear Tejano rock coming from a front yard bbq as you are to be offered artisan cheeses or handmade chocolates at the latest coffee shop emporium.
Once at that ministry. I engaged the Kyrie community in conversation, connecting with some friends and they pointed a young woman out to me. They told me she had affirmed her baptism at Kyrie a couple weeks previously and lived in the neighborhood around Trinity. In addition, she actually had worshipped at Trinity that very morning and brought along her special needs son, eight years old.
My immediate reaction? Cringing. Praying she had a good experience. And I was concerned. First off, I had to get over the fact that I had not met her. Why didn't I recognize her? Well, duh, she came to 8:30am service, I was getting the kiddos ready for church. So not only was I not there, my concern was raised. Did the folks welcome her? Were they inviting, did the preacher (my wife) do ok?
Well the verdict was in. Not only good, but moving. She shared with me that she was inspired to see a woman in pastoral leadership. To see a woman preach and consecrate the sacrament. This was new and amazing to her. A welcoming and heartening sign. And additionally, her son had enjoyed the service and especially the music. This young man, so moved by the music, was crying by the middle of the service, especially when he heard the marimba's play the offertory. In response, he took the dollar he had received from his mother as his allowance, and placed it in the offering plate.
Raising Faith: Growing Disciples! That is our theme this fall. It isn't a stewardship campaign it is a discipleship campaign. Today was a day in which I was gifted to witness discipleship. To hear a story of my community expressing the joy of worship in such a way that a young boy was moved to share his abundance. Now everyday is no where near as good as this. But today, today was a blessed day to serve the church. Today I was reminded why we serve and I give thanks, especially for the music ministry of my congregation. If you ever doubt if investing in music is worthwhile. Picture an eight year old with special needs, tears on his cheeks from being moved by music, placing his dollar in the plate in offering and thanksgiving. We are blessed dear friends. Beyond measure.
(Psalm 126:2) Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."