I played hookey from church on Sunday.
Okay, it’s more fun to say that instead of I’m granted a Sunday off with each continuing education week to experience worship in a different setting.
I ended up worshiping at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (my husband’s church and where I worshiped for the last three years before coming to Guilford Park). In some ways it was a default- I knew the kids would be happy, especially after BJ and I were gone for a week. But I also took the notion of learning from the worship service with me.
What first struck me is that I’m so lucky to have two wonderful worshiping communities to call home. How many people can say that? I felt the love of St. Andrews as the kids and I walked up (or pushed the mower for Graham) to the church and were greeted so warmly. I was encouraged and lifted up by all the faces I know. I was also encouraged by all the faces I didn’t know. In the five months since I’ve been gone, many new folks have started visiting and making their church home at St. Andrews.
While I was there I was fed spiritually with the Word and Sacrament, and physically with a little lemonade and pimiento cheese. During each Sunday service you can count on hearing four (yes four!) scripture passages: Old Testament, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel. That’s a whole lot of scripture to hear each week in the service, but the reading of scripture is vital nourishment.
The Rev. Audra Abt gave a sermon that gave a lot of food for thought. She preached on 1 Peter 3:13-22, and focused on “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” My favorite line (paraphrased) from her sermon:
No one is going to ask for an accounting of our faith until we confront and disturb the logic of the world with the hope that is in us.
There’s a lot to think on in that one statement- takes me back to Wrestling Match.
One of my favorite things about St. Andrew’s (ok, besides the rector) is the diversity that’s found there. Africans and African Americans, people of Lebanese descent and European descent, those with means and those with less means, English speakers and Spanish speakers, gay and straight. Sounds kinda like what all of our churches should look like, right?
Like I said before- I’m pretty darn lucky two have two churches to call home. I’m looking forward to being back at Guilford Park with you all this Sunday.