I’ve driven past St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church in Cannon Falls many, many times and have been inside for worship a time or two.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannia, said saint was “the first to preach the gospel in Sweden.”

It was very windy at the church on Sept. 6, 2020. You could see shadows of tree branches waving about during the livestream of the outdoor service. The racket kind of worked with the “wind over the sea” scripture adventure story about Jonah.

Early in the service, there were a few discernible responses of “Good morning.”

A little later musical notes from a saxophone and keyboard to the tune of “he’s got the whole world in his hands” were able to rise above it all, as well. Audible applause was generated from people outside and probably some hands got put together by those parked in the lot listening on their car radios, too. (I enjoyed a few measures of rhythmic ankle bouncing.)

For those “tossed on the waves of this world,” the sermon was about second chances and hearing when you’re called. I did not recall that it was Jonah himself who said you’d better toss me overboard, or how hard the sailors tried to avoid having to do so. It worked out well for all involved. Although, I guess we don’t really know how the big transport fish felt about it.

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Pastor Randy talked about a variety of loud calls he’s heard from suppertime big whistles to forest fire bells. Personally, he’s recently felt called, nudged really, by God to ratchet up his prayers for the local public education system — healthy schools in more ways than one. They held an outdoor community prayer Tuesday morning on the church property, very near the elementary school, as class sessions started for the new school year.

Flashing back to grade school art projects, I’m tempted to make that paper plate fish pastor showed and told about during the children’s sermon (after carefully removing clothes pins preventing them from becoming flying fish). Post-it Note scales might be fun. Completing the assignment entails cutting out the big triangle for the mouth and converting it to a tail on which you’re encouraged to write, “I called to the lord. He answered me.”