In casting my mind about for churches on the literal horizon that I might want to go to virtually on Sunday, an obvious option presented itself — Cross of Christ Lutheran church on Highway 61 in Welch, Minn.. I checked their website.

The woman reading from Genesis looked very familiar, probably from a blood donation day, maybe Veteran’s Day a few years back (good treats). I remember stopping there for posters once (probably for Church Women United). And, I went there for worship once (kind of by mistake, but that’s a long story)

Pastor Todd’s smile while holding a candle lighter ‘clicker’ (oh, the many times I’d been frustrated by ours in the past) lured me in for a preview.

He used one of my favorite spiritual words — “resonate” — that I recall a big ex-football player interim pastor using standing in front of a window at a retreat at the Villa Maria, and talked about picking up rocks on the Isle of Iona (been there!)

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My favorite part was when he told about exchanging grins and greeting with strangers on a sidewalk closer to home.

Looking at the pastor’s page on the website he mentions a meme where Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump is sitting on a park bench with the caption, “And just like that, all the Lutheran Pastors became televangelists.

On Sunday, June 14, the church continued to “gather in this unique way."

A young woman who did not look familiar to me read one of my very favorite Bible verses about “character” and “hope.” I hummed along to familiar hymns while the pianist worked the pedal of the black piano wearing white socks. During the closing prayerful music I enjoyed seeing photos of the pretty stained glass windows, different yet familiar.

In between, Pastor Todd told about a tumultuous time he lived through where the quieter voices used in church encouraged deeper listening — being a “compassionate presence for the harassed,” the kind in which “transformation happens.”