Last fall Julie and I were unable to gather with our pastorate because I was leading Alpha on Sunday evenings. I think that schedule was the right decision, BUT we deeply missed our pastorate.
Tonight we got to gather with them again. It was amazingly fun.
It was a small crowd -- just five households represented. We started out with kids upstairs along with adults, watching a video of the "Revelation Song" that included clips from a lot of different Jesus-movies. Powerful worship stuff, just reflecting on the words to the song and watching scenes of Jesus feeding the 5,000, walking on water, raising Lazarus, carrying the cross, etc. One of our leaders encouraged us to watch for names for Jesus, especially for anything that connected to this morning's worship theme of Jesus as the "bright morning star." We watched, then talked, for about 20 minutes.
Then we shared communion. Simple, simple, simple -- Hawaiian honey bread (gluten free wafers for the gluten free crowd) and a glass each of wine and grape juice for dipping (intinction for the liturgists among us). We took some time for prayer after that. The people in our pastorate are aware of the potential that I could be called to Calvary, and so they prayed over us, moving Julie and me to chairs in the middle of the room and then everyone -- kids included -- gathered round to lay hands on and pray over us. Powerful stuff.
Then we ate. We didn't used to do meals for the sake of time management, but somewhere along the way our pastorate leaders decided that it's better to take more time and help people avoid having to scramble to make a meal. Plus we get the full experience of meal fellowship. It's a brilliant decision, except that I ate way too much.
The kids adjourned themselves downstairs after supper and the adults moved into the living room to sit and talk. Just plain ordinary conversation about ordinary things. We moved without effort in and out of specifically Christian topics, and as the evening wore on we talked about some fairly deep heart stuff -- parenting was a big topic tonight.
Julie and I agreed on the way home that we really, really enjoy our pastorate. What a great group of people. What a privilege to be back with them for however long. Great, great stuff.