For many years Clementson Lutheran Church held a worship service at Frontier Landing, between Clementson and Birchdale, Minn. Sometimes it was canceled because of lousy weather, but one year the conditions were wonderful. This particular Sunday wasn’t just going to be a beautiful time of worship outside. This was the Sunday the goose came to worship.
After leading services at two other congregations, I arrived a few minutes late to the landing. No one seemed to mind because a goose had visited and seemed intent on worshiping with us.
I pulled out my guitar and we stood to sing the opening hymn. When I said to please be seated, the goose sat. Right there in front of Hank and Carol Rieke. The goose appeared to listen to the Scripture readings, but had had quite enough by sermon time — he took a nap. But when we stood to sing another hymn, the goose stood up.
As the ushers took the offering I picked up my guitar to play and sing. On the first chord, the goose decided this was to be a duet, not a solo. He stood next to me and honked through the entire song, even indicating that “Yes, let's do the refrain” one more time when I gave him the opportunity. When he finished, he promptly went back to his spot.
He got up and stood with me during communion and came up one more time for the closing hymn. When worship was over, he stayed for the potluck, which was not roast goose.
I’m not entirely sure what the moral of the story is. Maybe he thought my singing was for the birds. Or maybe it’s just a lesson in evangelism and a reminder that we never know who will show up to worship, but they’re welcome just the same.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers