Today was the fall kick off. Sunday School started back up, we had a fellowship meal, and I began the sermon series I will be doing this fall on Exodus. I did another one of my weird sermons. A series of women took turns interrupting one another as they told the story of how they saved Moses (all of them seeing what they'd done as an unimportant little thing.) There was no indication in the bulletin it would be anything other than a normal sermon, so the first interruption was a complete surprise to the congregation. I think by the 4th woman, they'd probably figured it out. I had an introduction and then tied it all together at the end. The congregation loved it. What I loved was some of the specific comments after the sermon:
"I'm going to go read Exodus this week."
"Why didn't I know that story? I don't remember hearing it before."
"I did a little thing this week that made a couple of children happy. It made me feel so good."
"I remember a little thing someone did for us our first Sunday here. It's why we came back."
I love those kinds of specific comments, because it tells me people connected with the story and are applying it to their lives.
The church timeline also made it's first appearance today, and a lot of people spent time reading it. There were stickers people could add to it to mark a place where a little thing made a big difference. I was delighted to see several people had placed stickers by various events.
After the fellowship meal, I had a workshop on making your own spiritual timeline. Daughter had to come, of course. She didn't start at the table, but in a chair along the wall, where she pulled out her ipod. She quickly joined us at the table, and while we were talking, she began writing down events from her life on the page with questions for people to use for reflection. She was very excited about it as a I drove her home. I was impressed by her reflections on faith.
I used a picture of her from her first Easter with me when I wrapped it up. I said a little thing that made a difference in my life was when I agreed to take a member's young daughter "for the weekend." The congregation loved seeing a picture of her when she was that young. She got lots of comments after the service (she knew my plans and gave me permission to use the illustration). She confessed to some of the members that she'd found the kitchen keys and had been raiding the kitchen at night. It was heart warming to hear them assure Daughter that they loved her, supported her, and knew she would turn things around.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love my life?