When I was previewing church options, I drove through town. After seeing all the roadwork at Wanamingo Lutheran Church, I went to the park by the Zumbro River and Shingle Creek where they would be worshiping on Sunday, Aug. 30.
I thought I noticed the top of a brown brick bell tower on the other side of the colorful Main Street and realized later that that was Trinity Lutheran, who would be worshiping with them on Sunday. Bright sunlight hit the hanging baskets of flowers by their benches out front that Sunday.
Cars and trucks and smaller four-wheeled vehicles were streaming into the park area at 8:48 a.m. After backing into a space, I cracked open the window to enjoy the keyboard prelude coming from the shelter area.
A nice woman in a distinctive mask came to my window with a flat box of bulletins and the little communion kits; I helped myself to the former, passed on the latter. The woman who parked next to me offered me a cheerful wave.
After the service started, I walked down closer to the river where I could still hear well (and even kind of imagine doing some subtle tai chi moves). While the soloist was singing the hymn “Shine, Jesus, Shine” (at a very safe distance, I couldn’t resist a little singing along) I appreciated the sparkle of sunlight on the river, the twinkle of dew in the grass, as well as a reflective shimmer on the first few fallen leaves.
During the children’s sermon Pastor Christopher said that as much as the little ones love their favorite things, God loves the children even more.
He then told the story of a little boy choosing the runt of the litter of puppies because he too knew what it was like not to be the biggest and the fastest — even revealing braces on his legs. It was a real choice to offer a sincere sense of security and belonging.
In keeping with the second reading from Romans, his love was “genuine.”
Pastor went on to say, “Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.” Such as “rejoice with neighbors on days like today.” In addition to the beautiful weather, there was a baptism, confirmation and communion.
There was also ample applause for the affirmations, which included for “a spirit of wisdom and understanding.”