We were hoping power would be restored and the lights would come back on Saturday afternoon in time for the 5pm worship service. Nope. So we moved the worship into Fellowship Hall and made do.
But by Sunday? Surely by Sunday the power at church would be restored, right? Come Sunday morning, despite the best efforts of the hardworking crews of Owatonna Public Utilities, our building was still dark.
So between 6am and 6:30am, people came to help us re-set. We added chairs in Fellowship Hall, we moved hymnals, we moved the bells, we got a generator and ran power lines so we could plug in instruments and a small, portable sound system. And we knew the sun would come up, and those big, giant windows in the front of Fellowship Hall would let in enough light. Andrea did a fantastic job picking new songs for the 10:45am contemporary worship since we couldn’t have powerpoint, but we DID have hymnals. (“This Little Light of Mine” as a closing hymn? Brilliant!)
And people came. Lots of people. I think that deep down, we all knew that gathering to give thanks this weekend for safety from the storm was really important. It felt like people were drawn here.
And worship happened. And it was…dare I say it…fun! Don’t get me wrong…I don’t want to repeat the experience any time soon, and I’ll be happy preaching from the Sanctuary with the lights on next weekend. But this was an experience where people came together and worshipped. It was simple and stripped down. There were not a lot of bells and whistles. (Well, we did have the Bell Choir…but that’s a different kind of bell. And there was coffee…thanks be to God!)
All we needed was the light of Jesus. The light of Jesus was enough.
“And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” – Philippians 4:19-20.
The light of Jesus is enough. Often I feel like I need more. I feel like I need to reach and stretch…and be bigger and better…but worship this weekend reminded me that sometimes, what Jesus gives is enough. And this weekend, Jesus gave us an incredible community with which to pull this all off. And we are so grateful:
- Thanks be to God for the Trinity staff, who worked so hard to make worship happen this weekend.
- A special recognition goes to our amazing building and properties team, Dave, Matt and Ben who worked tirelessly.
- A special shout-out also to Andrea, our worship coordinator for her great work pulling together the music.
- Thanks to Emily, our co-preacher this weekend, as well as Greta and Ashton, who were our worship leaders, and who flexed with grace
- Thanks to Sheri, Chris and Kate who adapted to new spaces for the classes they teach.
- Thanks to the Sunday School and Trinity U instructors, who adapted.
- Thanks to Rod and Nolan, who pretty much created a sound system out of thin air.
- Thanks to Genelle, our bell choir director, for being in early and setting up the bells in new space…and in the dark.
- Deep gratitude to Tanyia and Amy, who did air-traffic control for all of this.
- Thank you to the congregation, who took this as an opportunity to try something new, and who appreciated the spirit of adventure of the weekend.
- And thanks to God, who walked with us through the darkness (literally).
Next week, the lights will be on. But we’ll also remember that the light that shines brightest, the one that illuminates the dark places we sometimes experience in our hearts and our lives, comes not from an LED bulb, but rather radiates with the love and grace that comes from our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord. He’s the light that we follow…he’s the light that shows us the way…and he’s the light we worship.
Thanks be to God!