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!)
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.”