|the main highway through our town, near our current church location|
- We had good attendance, even though it was snowing . . . again. I never would have dreamed that it could snow for 36 hours straight and have very little accumulation, but that's how it's been all winter here, and that's how it was this weekend. Folks are used to snow and wintry weather here, though, so it doesn't affect our attendance.
- Two of us pianists alternate monthly playing the piano on Sunday mornings. March is my month. I love to play, and I love to be an active part of the service. We actually have three pianists. I have some training and play well enough for congregational singing and for offertories, although the offertories are a challenge for me to learn. Our youth pastor's wife plays by ear. She can do things with music that I only dream of! If I were to sit down to learn something she can play with just her natural talent, it would take me probably a month of daily practice just to get the basic notes down, let alone being familiar enough to play it with passion (which is an important part of playing any instrument, by the way. I'm not talking about passion as in big movements and dramatic sound, but with the heart, feeling the music - another thought for another time, maybe). But S. can play very technically difficult music just from hearing it - what a huge talent the Lord has given her! And our third pianist is one of our teenaged girls who is progressing through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She can play gorgeous classical pieces, and is excelling in her studies of both piano and violin. So we have some variety in our musical styles, and we all enjoy taking part in the music of our services.
- Wes continued his Sunday morning series on the life of David with a sermon entitled Tragedy or Triumph? He compared the lives of Saul and David and how each man responded to God's presence in his life. Wes pointed out that if God is a reality in our lives, everything about us will center around Him. In my notes, I asked myself who is the inclination of my soul, myself or God? Another thing he pointed out is that David was submitted to God completely at this point (I Samuel 18). Although he was anointed as the next king of Israel, he never once did anything to rush God's timing in becoming king. He kept doing what he was already doing - keeping his father's sheep - and later even refused to take Saul captive, even though he easily could have. We can learn from this to patiently wait on the Lord. His will will come to pass in His time. The link above will take you to the beginning sermon in this series.
- On Sunday afternoon we began a "choir" of sorts. We aren't a large enough congregation to have a large choir, but with our move to a new location, Wes wants to also incorporate more special music into our services. One way we'll do that is with a group of people who will sing several Sunday mornings a month to help prepare people's hearts for the message. We began yesterday with a simple unison arrangement of 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus, arranged by Jenifer Cook and offered as a free download. We had five ladies and one man (next week we'll have at least two men!) for this first practice. They'll begin by singing a couple of times a month, then progressing to every week as they learn new material. This is something Wes has wanted to do for quite a while; please pray that the group will come together easily, work hard to learn new things, and be a blessing as they sing.
- Sunday night after church we had all the children ages 12 and under to our home for some food and games. Don't worry; it's only seven kids right now! Similar to our teen SNAC, we do this once a quarter for the younger children so they can get to know us and be comfortable with us and in our home. Wes believes strongly in being an available pastor, and this includes the children. We think of it as an investment in their futures - building relationships that will last throughout their lives. I think they are all pretty comfortable in our home - as soon as they walk in they all flop on the couch, find a book to look at, or ask if they can help me do something to get ready to eat. Then they eat up all the food! We usually have something not-so-healthy that their moms don't normally fix. Last night was Pizza Pops and brownies. They scarfed those right down, let me tell you! LOL Wes took them up to the media room in our building, which is similar to a big living room, where they played a couple of rowdy games. They all seemed to have a good time, and each one called out, "Thanks Pastor and Mrs. Hutchens!" They're a good group of littles, and we loves them. This is the same group I teach on Wednesday nights, too. Lots of interaction!
So that's a bit about our church this weekend. How were your services this weekend?
photo credit: Jason Drury via photopin cc