The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Orlando to Chicago

Remembering and anticipating Churchwide Assembly

In the crowd, people flowing like a swirling current,
he called to me, waved as I turned to make eye contact.

“Jack, I’d like to worship with you,” he said,
and took us to the end of a row.

At the Churchwide Assembly, worship focused us each day,
Before and after the debates, before lunch,
in a room with a thousand other voting members
and who knows how many staff and visitors.

He is one of many new friends, doing the work of the church.
He has a good voice,
sings harmony,
making the hymns seem more complex.

He pays intense attention to the sermon, eyes on the preacher,
nodding either yes or no at times,
not distracting
but sharing his take on the word.

We follow the usher, my friend leads the way
to the table, hands extended,
to receive the sacrament, individually and together,
amid the work of a particular church.

I’m going back, again to debate the issues before us,
looking forward to the worship in community,
finding someone to say, “I’d like to worship with you,”
making God our focus as we work. I know I will.




Posted at 7:51 pm (U.S. Eastern) 8/1/2007

This gentleman is the kind we need in every church. May God Bless Him.


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