At Hope Lutheran Church in River Falls Pastor Annie was going on vacation, but we still got to see her recorded in various settings including illuminated by the sun with a brilliant aura and dancing a little with her daughter on her hip as they put out the candles in the sanctuary — both wearing their Sunday best.

During the opening music of “Gather Us In” I looked out our window at the top of the hour and saw a procession of people going into the stately building across the street, not quite in time to the music.

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The upbeat version of the Kyrie immediately following the greeting perked up my morning.

The very sweet, very young voice skillfully reading the scripture was intriguing for a variety of reasons. Part of it I don’t recall hearing before, but must’ve at some point, about the stone for a pillow — mine was feeling a little hard last night but not that hard. Imagining a tiny finger tracing beneath the words, I particularly appreciated the clear enunciation of the four directions.

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The sermon was one given by Pastor Carolyn from Mt. Zion Lutheran in Hudson. It brought to mind flowers I’ve been admiring in the road ditches: white Queen Anne’s Lace and the similarly structured bright yellow wild parsnip. As explained, the latter is toxic, but you can’t really tell by looking at it or where it’s growing. Also explained, “stupidly high standards” can be toxic. As revealed to seminary students ministering to each other at a kitchen table, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.”

When pastor said, “pockets of ... nourishment” I was slightly taken aback, in a good way. I’ve literally been beginning our walks this summer amongst wildflowers with vitamins in my pocket. (The sticky ones start out in empty tea bag packets that sometimes impart an additional hint of spice.)

The older gentleman and young lady singing “soon and very soon” were delightful shoulder to shoulder with a similar sense of a light jazz shimmy.

A different very young voice faithfully recited the response of “hear our prayer;” I believe most likely with hands folded and head bowed, but even if not, a small pocket of faith inspiring a calm sense of reverence.