ain’t no stoppin’ church

i was a little concerned when i hadn’t heard from anner this morning. i was getting ready for church, and thought maybe she had decided the blizzard ridden roads of b’more were too treacherous. i could have walked to church, i did every week when i lived here. but anner had to drive from the other side of the harbor. at 8:06am, she called, “i’m here. i’m early.” of course. never doubt a girl from minnesota.

so we drove to church (after anner tried to push someone down the street by ramming their back bumper, per their request…) and found only one other person there. “guess we’re not having church?” i said. “i just saw pastor, he said to go sit in the choir loft,” said a woman i didn’t know. and we did. maybe 20 of us in our jeans and boots walked (or squeaked, in my case) up the aisle to the very front of the church, up to the choir pews, just right of the altar.

now, i have to say that this sanctuary is a special place for me. first, it’s beautiful. the man that designed it was one of the 3 architects of the national cathedral, so… awesome. but it’s also a place i used to have a key to when i lived here. i’d come to the church 30 minutes before our girls’ book club every sunday night to get ready for the rest of the gang, sitting in the dark sanctuary, just me and the candlelight. it’s a special place too because it’s where, during one evening lenten service, i heard God speak into my heart: “feed My sheep…” the beginning of a call to ministry.

this morning it was special because we were just a handful of neighborhood peeps and two priest. no robes. no acolytes. we were the choir. pastor sabor, who hadn’t practiced the organ since 1971, pecked out a couple of hymns. pastor fritas shared a beautiful sermon about mary’s annunciation and God’s knack for using ordinary people to bring Jesus to the world, something i think about often.

the whole experience was a welcome confirmation of being where i am now, and a reminder that this story i’m living is not a new one. it’s a Great one.

pastor sabor put on a pot of coffee and pastor fritas tracked down some donuts so our gathering could tarry a bit longer. all in all, a beautiful morning. church at its blizzard best.

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