Thursday, June 3, 2010

Joys and Concerns and A Joyful Noise

Today is a final journal of how my Blog, A Joyful Noise, came into being.

One particular Sunday at First Congregational Church, the service was quite mixed up. I had been sharing every Sunday for a few minutes, during the “Joys and Concerns.” I watched as one of the council members went to the platform and whispered in the new Pastors ear.

Something was in the air, I could tell!

Soon it was time for Joys and Concerns (A verbal sharing of testimony and prayer requests). The new Pastor stepped off the platform, and came down into the audience. He did not ask for Joys and Concerns, but he summarized concerns in the church, nation, our military, and then he prayed, and led us all in the Lords prayer.

He returned to the pulpit, and began to read the scriptures, and to give his message. A voice from the audience spoke out and said, "You forgot to take the offering." He pleasantly asked "Please do not interrupt during the sermon, however remind me again when I am done."

He finished his sermon, took the offering, and then dismissed the congregation to enjoy a time of fellowship in the social hall.

During the fellowship time, the Pastor came and sat with my friend and me, and sort of apologized for things being a bit mixed up today. He said, “We will not have a bulletin next week because the Secretary is on vacation.” I suggested that he use a check list so as not to forget anything. Then I told him that I had planned to share today on "forgetting things," and I laughed. I looked at my friend, and she knew what I was thinking.

Earlier that day I had taken some oranges to "The Fathers House" which is a church ministering to a congregation of rehab and needy persons. I picked up my friend, as she needed a ride, and told her I had just taken fruit to The Fathers House. She said, “I have never been there.” I told her that many years ago I had visited several times, and they allowed me to share. One specific Sunday the Pastor at the Fathers House got up and said, “Today we will not be having any sharing.” I told my friend that I never went back.

She knew that I had thoughts today, about not coming back to this church. Later I told my friend, “It is not a good way to hear from God, and I seldom do it, but as I opened my Bible, and pointed to a scripture, it said, "Do not depart." So I am not ready to leave this church.

When I told my husband about the service today, his encouraging remark was "Hazel you do not need to preach every Sunday."

As it turned out, that was the exact same thought at my church. “Hazel was preaching too often, and using too much scripture,” and the council decided something needed to be done! Their decision was to have written joys and concerns passed on to the Pastor to read.

I was told by a council member that once a month there would be a sharing time, and I would be allowed to participate then.

I grumbled to one of my friends, and she told me, “Hazel, why don’t you start a Blog?”

I thought about it, did some research and, “A Joyful Noise” came into being.

Oh, yes, I share once a month at my church, but now I also share with you.

I do hope you enjoy my stories and the preaching that so often goes along with them.

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