- so many people in the second service
- a testimony from the woman being baptized (a woman who was once an ordained deacon in this congregation, but never told anyone she had not been baptized) “i am a recovering alcoholic. i’m 50 years old. my life is a living witness that it is never too late to give your life to God. i rejoice…” more than that, but WOW! small town. small church. SUCH courage!
- two women standing with her as sponsors, one a childhood friend who is the chair of the worship committee (my first contact in this congregation), one another elder who… well, it just seemed to me that she needed to be a sponsor for this woman. they both had tearfilled eyes through the whole sacrament.
- a tearful goodbye from the clerk of session, in front of the whole congregation, giving thanks for my ministry, concretely naming the difference she feels I made, arriving at a crucial moment in the life of that congregation- handing me a vase full of yellow roses.
- a gracious goodbye from a jovial elder, in front of the whole congregation, as he offered a framed drawing of the church.
- and then i sang my standard blessing.
- and then the choir sang a blessing to me.
- and so many hugs were given at the door, so many words of thanks.
- last week someone said “I’ve decided you’re a peacemaker.”
- this week many people said similar things.
for this one time peace activist… no sweeter words could be spoken.
Thanks be to God.