This morning I didn't go to worship at my normal place of worship. One of my CPE colleagues was being installed as a children and family minister at a church about an hour and a half away. Supa told me about it the other day when he called. I'm SO glad I went. My friend was being installed at both services, and so I went to the later one. I got there and stood around reading all the stuff hanging on the walls and stuff. A few people introduced themselves to me, and I felt welcomed. Someone asked me where I was from and if I was going to start going there for good when I said no because I live far far away. I also told her I was there to see my friend get installed. She then took me down to the fellowship hall where the church was having a "welcome to CPEFriend/happy birthday to the Christian Church" party (considering today was Pentecost Sunday). I went down there and found my friend, but she was talking to a bunch of other people, so I just waited about 4 feet to her side. She was talking to some people and wrapping things up with them when she looked my way. I thought she saw me, but she didn't. Then, another minute later, she looked my way again and her face totally lit up and she let out a very excited yell and gave me a big hug! It was totally worth making the drive just to see that reaction from her. We talked for a minute, and then I said I'd see her after a bit because I was going to go sit down for worship.
I went up to the sanctuary and got a bulletin and was reading through it when I looked up and saw Supa enter the sanctuary. He saw me and got a grin on his face and came over to sit by me. I talked to him for a minute, but he said he was going to go see if he could catch my CPE colleague before worship. He came back after a few minutes and we saw CPEMate come in, too. Worship started not long after that.
Since today was Pentecost Sunday, the pastors had a more interactive service set out. It was really cool because the church had these paper flames strung up by fishing wire above the pews. The kids came up during one of the readings and they made the sound of wind, and we all raised our bulletins and made the flames move by the air movement. Then, when the lesson started talking about how the people were speaking in tongues, different people within the congregation started speaking different languages. One person was even doing American Sign Language. It was totally awesome! They were all doing it at the same time and it was just a really neat way to emphasize the point. During the sermon, the pastor who was preaching asked us to think of something that we feel passionate about in our life, but not personal things like gardening for ourselves or something. Then she said, "Now, turn to someone near you and tell them." Supa and I turned to each other and I said, "I like to make people feel important/valued/loved for the "uninmportant" things, and through doing the simple things. Kind of like the song, "Little is much" when they say, "He changes the world with the seeds we sow." Supa also told me his, which did not surprise me at all. He's a very wonderful person and his passion is evident in the way he lives out his ministry. I really liked the service and everything. And seeing my friend being installed there filled my heart because the church is VERY fortunate to get her, and I know that she will feel blessed by being able to do ministry there. I pray all God's deepest blessings on her. She's great.
After worship, I saw a seminary friend there. It turns out that one of the pastors is her dad! Ha. Small world. I could only talk to my seminary friend for a minute though, because my friend was showing us her office, which is totally sweet. I just can't get over how happy I am for her. YAY!
And here I am, at the end of the day, just totally glad and filled with love and fondness for people who I've only known a short time. And I realize that in my friend's surprise at seeing me there, that I got to do a bit of my passion. She was surprised I made it to the installation because the church she serves is so far away from home for me. But, I wanted to go and show my love and support for her. Just to see her face and receive her warm hug when she turned and finally actually saw me was more than enough reward. I hope she realizes that I'm truly grateful for the person she is, and that I have every confidence in her abilities as a called child of God.