I realized today that this is the first fall that we are sitting in the pews at Eastview Community Church. It has been a huge transition for us, to leave the place we called our home church (after 32 years) and move to another church. (that move is a whole other blog post that likely will never be written, but know that the move was not something that we did without much prayer, much tears and grieving)
Anyhow ... today, as Delbert got up to give the welcome, he shared the sermon series that we are beginning right now, and the worship team broke into the song from Cheers
Now, okay, lest I offend some of you who think that singing a portion of the theme song of cheers is sacreligious or something ... let me explain.
Something happened when I heard the theme song begin to play on the piano. Actually I got goose bumps. Now, I liked the series CHEERS and watched it often with my husband. But I think the thing that I liked the most was the fact that people knew one another, and that when Norm came in - they all said "NORM" because they KNEW HIM!! (one of my friends was positive that when I walked into Mountain Bean, they all yelled JOY since I spent alot of time there while I was a Pastor. He said that he always wanted to be in the coffee shop before I came in, to see if it happened!!) I think I actually got goosebumps because I have heard people refer to the cheers community before. (No you won't catch me sitting and hanging out in a pub, because that is not my idea of a good time HOWEVER I love the idea of community. I love it when people KNOW me and allow me to get to KNOW them. I know that I love to be "in" community!)
Today Delbert's sermon was titled "Risk IT! Community in a Timmy's World and it was on Acts 2: 42 to the end. Delbert made us laugh as he had Tim Horton's props (cups and Timbits) because they are a CANADIAN thing, but he admitted that he loves Starbucks more!
He talked about how the first "church" was a community of like minded people - of one heart and one mind. That they were DEVOTED (totally committed to what they believed) but that beyond devotion, we have to have PASSION (which is a powerful and compelling emotional response to something we have experienced) . Imagine - Peter preached with passion (Acts 2) and 3000 were added to the church that day! WOW imagine if that happened today! We have a lot to be passionate about! I will never forget the night that I asked Jesus Christ to be Lord of my life!!
Delbert also said that besides PASSION we need to add LOYALTY. At this point, Delbert said that he had read the book "The Gospel According to Starbucks" (which is a book that Alvin also read and enjoyed) and within the book the author talks about an EPIC LIFE. There are 4 essential ingredients to establishing a Christ-like community (which we should all want to have right?) and they are
Experience: mainly teaching. If we are only here to entertain, then the church has missed the point!
Participation: we were all encouraged to roll up our sleeves and get involved, and bring others to come and know Christ!
Images: at this point we celebrated the Lord's Supper (aka communion) together. The images of the bread and wine representing the Lord's body which hung on the cross, and his blood shed for our sin. I love celebrating around the Lord's table together.
Connection: in the Acts church it said that they devoted themselves to teaching, to fellowship, to sharing meals, to prayer. They knew one another's NEEDS!! You can only do this if you connect with people! If you know others by name, and if you are known by your name! It was this type of community that attracted others!
It was at this point that Delbert encouraged us, as he was closing, to do an impromptu lunch invitation with someone. Go out of our way and go out with someone else. Impromptu!
As we were leaving, we were asked to go out with our friend Judy and her new husband Dennis. It was a wonderful time together, getting to know them and hearing how God had brought the two of them together.
I was blessed today through the service. The service that included worship time through music, Scripture reading, a sermon, sharing communion together and yes... even hearing the Worship Band sing the first part of the Cheers Theme Songs.
You want to go where everybody knows your name!!