Saturday, June 09, 2007

small town Sunday: ice cream and other vittles

Trinity Sunday in Green Mountain Falls, as the liturgical calendar would have it. In a courageous move, our pastor broached the topic even with the little ones: "I now invite the children of the congregation to come forward to talk about ice cream." He talked about the Trinity in terms of Neopolitan ice cream: chocolate and vanilla and strawberry are all very different flavors, but they are all ice cream, and together they make up Neopolitan ice cream. Of course, any adult in the room will admit that they understood this sermon for children far more than the one targeted at us adults.

When I walked forward to take communion, I passed by the elderly woman who shaved her head for cancer research. She was wearing a sequined ball cap that said something about New York. The only other cap in the room was on the head of another elderly woman: it was bright pink and said, "Country Girl." I like a church where old women wear fancy ball caps.

During the announcement time, a bunch of kids in cowboy outfits joined their teacher in announcing that VBS ("avalance ranch") was a-comin' up and they were looking for help. Holding up an old campfire coffee pot, they invited us to join them for some vittles in the fellowship hall to raise money. Vittles, of course, consisted of coffee and a cake that said Avalanche Ranch, but the mood was set nonetheless: each person who walked into the fellowship hall was greeted by a 3 foot nothing boy with a bandana, asking if "y'all" wanted some coffee.

As usual, though, I walked away challenged as well as smiling. I was challenged by the fact that the church sent money to a pastor in Greensburg, Kansas, so the he could put it to use as they recover from the devastating tornado that hit weeks ago. I was challenged yet again by the way that the pastor reminds us that speaking the affirmation of faith is telling a part of our story. Most of all, I was challenged by the invocation:

"Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves
When our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,
When we have arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity,
and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
to venture wider seas where storms will show your mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes;
and to push into the future in strength, courage, hope and love."
(Francis Drake, 1577)

May those words challenge you as they challeged me, and as our Pastor often says, may the disturbance of Christ be with you.

1 comment:

randsomed journeyer said...

"and also with you!"...What can I say? It's the first phrase that comes to mind of a Lutheran-raised girl when she hears a benediction :) Thanks for sharing your experiences in this small town fellowship!