Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy, Holy, Holy.
Not only was this our final hymn at Sunday’s dedication of the Joan Stockstill Godsey Organ, but it was also the overwhelming feeling in the room as we sang it.
It was a beautiful evening of church we had together Sunday, honoring one of our most faithful and beloved members, and celebrating this instrument which will surely be the cornerstone of our worship at First Baptist for generations to come. It was also heartening to so see so many friends and neighbors from around the community among us. The fullness of the music emanating from the beautiful new pipes was matched only be the number of people in our pews (sans cushions!).
As ever, we’re so grateful for Bryan Shelburne, who recorded Sunday’s dedication. Be on the lookout for that audio as it is made available.
We will have another full Sunday together this upcoming Sunday as we recognize our graduates in worship, and reconvene at Amerson Park for our annual church cookout. I hope you’ll make plans to join us for both.
In the meantime, I am writing you from Black Mountain, North Carolina, where I’m meeting with a group of pastor friends for what we’ve come to call “Preacher Camp.” This is the third year we’ve gathered to work through sermon preparation for the year ahead, share ideas, and offer and receive perspective on the work of our congregations. As I’ve said before, this group has become an essential source of inspiration and support for me, and I always return energized hearing of the good work being done in our sister congregations.
It would not have been my plan to have these travels back to back, but the following week I’ll also be on the road. From Tuesday to Thursday of next week, I’ll be in Indianapolis, Indiana, participating in A Convocation of Christian Leaders, a 12-month program hosted by Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School. This will be the first of four short gatherings “designed for promising young leaders from around the country who seek extended conversation about the theology and practice of leadership in Christian institutions.”
I’m just glad to still be considered a young minister!
In all seriousness, I was honored to be invited to participate in this program, and look forward not only to sharing the good work we’ve been up to here with a wider group of leaders within the church, but also learning from and with others to hear the ways the Holy Spirit is moving in churches and communities around the county.
There’s a theme here, isn’t there?
Like many churches, we often run the risk of siloing ourself off at the Top of Poplar, and failing to appreciate the ways the Spirit is moving in other congregations, not only in our Macon community, but in communities far and wide. How moving it is when we raise our eyes and appreciate the ways in which we are—to borrow from Sunday’s sermon—branches of a much bigger vine.
This much was clear Sunday evening at our organ dedication, seeing all these unfamiliar faces worshiping in our sanctuary and experiencing the transcendent sound of the music of the church, masterfully played.
I will be with you each of these Sundays, but in the time in between, know that I’m telling our story—singing our song—and will look forward to bringing back the songs of others, that we might see how they are all movements in the same score.