Sunday, November 19, 2006

It’s Sunday morning and the faithful have gathered. The pews at Hometown Friends Church are empty this morning. This is the day for the annual Thanksgiving service in the university auditorium—one combined service instead of the usual three.

But I’m in San Antonio, Texas, at the 7th Friends Ministers Conference. This event brings together pastors from around the country representing two organizational groupings of Friends.

Early in the service a Kenyan named Moses teaches us a praise song in his language complete with hand and feet movements that would make us look like charismatics if we were actually willing and able to get into it. There are three other black faces here—two more Kenyans and the soloists who gives a concert tonight. There is no sermon this morning. We got that last night. This morning we worship together through music, prayer, scripture, and unprogrammed verbal sharing. At the end of the service the leader announces that the scriptural benediction will be given by four stalwart leaders. They have cordless mics where they are in the room. I listen without looking and match each voice with a life and ministry. I feel blessed.


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