Church nerds is what we who arrived several hours before the doors to Rockefeller Chapel opened for Bishop Eaton’s Installation called ourselves. There was some anticipation and anxiety that there would not be room for all who took the pilgrimage to this momentous occasion.
In the end there was room for all but I would not have given up the experience of spending time with all the wonderful folk who gathered early.
We had seats up front but I actually could not see much of what was going on. It didn’t matter. We could hear, we could sing, we were there and part of the celebration. It was a joyous, spirit filled worship that lifted up all that is wonderful about our historic liturgical tradition as well as incorporating other musical and ethnic traditions. Like bagpipes! It combined the dignity of the ancient liturgy with joyous clapping (on the right beat even).
These kinds of gatherings remind me of how being part of the church makes the world small as I met friends from Facebook people who knew people I knew, and reconnected with friends from years ago.
The synod bishops processed in to “I Go to the Rock” but instead of sitting up by themselves as a group, they joined the people in the pews.
If you didn’t walk away from this worship grinning there is something seriously wrong with you.
bishop in our church. But when the music and worship began, it wasn’t about men or women or Jew or Greek or slave or free. It was about celebrating the church.
We’ve come through some tough times in this synod. And as our Bishop Ullestad likes to say, we’ve come out smaller, but stronger. We are a new synod. And it is time to sing a new song.
The ELCA is an amazing church. We have good theology, we have a great liturgical tradition, and we do great work in the world. Perfect no, flawed and always falling on the grace of God, yes, but that is what is so wonderful.
Let’s show em how we “show em Jesus” in our proclamation, worship and work in the world.
By Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson,
Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA