Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Night of Worship

I LOVE helping to design Easter and Christmas, those include story writers, videographers, talented musicians and band leaders - but working on the Night of Worship feels more like an orchestration of God's people instead of the elements.

The concept is pretty straight forward.  Identify a few creative key elements, suggest a song or two  that need to be included in order for a creative element to work, determine the length of the service, write or locate any spoken word pieces, artists or dancers and ask our Pastor for key scriptures...

But what I love about it most is watching barriers between ministries breakdown, people stepping out of their little box and away from theological difference to visually and physically create the definition of COMMUNITY.

I mentioned to someone recently, I believe God intends to use any negative experience in our lives to either prepare us for something in the future, or allow us to use that to drive change where we see it needs to happen.  That is what the Night of Worship has personally become to me.

I grew up in a protective, loving, small church but the older I got the more I realized we were extremely inward focused, unwilling to join forces in the community with other churches and highly critical of any theological idea that didn't line up exactly with ours.  I am so grateful for their current leadership which has totally changed all of that.  Although I am unwilling to waiver on what I've studied and believe God teaches in His Word about the absolutes of Christianity and am myself determined not to accept every theological idea that comes along even if that is an unpopular stand to take, I think there can be events like the Night of Worship where we get to experience just a tiny, tiny glimpse of what heaven will be like when we can put all that fussing aside about differing opinions, because we'll be on our faces before our creator, completely sorry we wasted one minute worrying about what others were doing wrong.

As we create the Night of Worship, I get to reach out to other pastors, musicians, artists and congregations inviting them into the process...creating together something that will remain in our communities hearts for eternity!

Our first meetings with worship leaders was when we pitched the concept for this year and began to select music together.

We then pre-recorded the main worship leaders to use as our promo - this was an amazing experience!

Next we took amazing Eric and Eric, our video/audio guys downtown to record our pastor's spoken word video - I stood and cried during a lot of this process.   First of all I know how crazy pastors' schedules are, so it always humbles me when we can get them all at the same time to create together! And secondly - the visual of unity it creates for a community is powerful!

Pastors Spoken word video

Powerful unity!
One of the other things we agreed on was to use this gathering as a chance to surround a cause in our community.  We decided that cause would be to help Richland Pregnancy Services purchase their new Ultrasound machine!

I organized an interview with Scott Saunders at WVMC for the Director of RPS and Pastor Dave to begin to let people know ahead of time that we would be taking an offering.
Pastor Dave Vance and Pam Crank
And it made us so thankful when the offering that night was nearly $20,000.00!  This night now was both a celebration of spiritual life-change as we worshipped together, as well as helping to save the physical lives of babies!  To God be the glory!!

Next was the artist pieces of the performance to organize!  When we began to discuss the 'live performance' painting we wanted as part of the Night of Worship I asked Shawn Smith how large he wanted it, he said, "10X10".  Neither of us realized just how huge that would be, but it turned out to be the exact size needed to really have impact in the service!  (My hubby and I had to turn it corner to corner, to get it out the churches' garage doors!)

We sent Shawn (the artist) this picture of the finished canvas
to give him the perspective of size - a little larger than we thought!
The day came to transport it to the Renaissance and man was that something!

We stuck parking attendants flags on either side and followed
with flashers going.
Notice the beautiful blue sky!  We were pulling out within 10 minutes after this pictures was taken but as we turned the corner a clamp on the canvas shot across the parking lot!  And after fixing that  and we attempted to pull out onto the street behind the church all the tape flew off that Shawn had previously painted over, so that had to all be redone.  After stopping and gathering up all the tape a single cloud followed us all the way to the theatre POURING on us!  The canvas was drenched when we got there so we fired up the fans.  I swore the enemy was trying to discourage us or prevent the painting from happening.  I knew then, this is going to be powerful!  And it was!

Shawn worshipped while he painted and it was so amazing!

This amazing painting is for sale at Crossroads until this
weekend.  All proceeds go toward the Richland Pregnancy
Center's Ultrasound machine.
Finally rehearsals began!

Vocal Rehearsals were first at Crossroads

Then came rehearsal the night before the concert...

Everyone worked so hard! 
All the work, all the papers, all the emails, all the calls and discussion was done
and final rehearsal was now!

Everyone had prepared well, so there was nothing left to do but to worship!

It was packed!

Our pastors read scripture

Pastor Dave and Pam Crank prepared us for the offering

Rachel did a beautiful job painting!

Truly a Night of Worship to remember!

I will count it a privilege forever to have been part of this evening!  I believe we presented our best to the Lord and worshiped as one!

Monday, July 2, 2018

emotional overdrive

Everyone keeps asking me if I'm ok.

Although over the past few weeks and months I've experienced many emotions, the one that dominates all others is a sense of peace.

A complete confidence in a daughter's Godly dependance and trust in the Lord has given us the peace that only comes from God.  Of course we would rather have them all here with us, but we believe they are exactly where God called them to be.

Here are a few pictures that may visually explain the emotional ride...

Engagement photo shoot on "the farm"

One of the final weekends leading Student Ministry worship

God created a new family!
Other loved ones celebrated - Jocelyn got to say a few words at their wedding

Trinity's dedication at Crossroads
rehearsing for the Night of Worship recording

Night of Worship recording with area leaders

Trinity finished up MCS soccer

Joci lead at Night of Worship

Staff farewell lunch for Joci

Farewell dessert at Whitts - these 3 love icecream

final cousin hugs

We tied prayers of farewell and blessings on the balloons and released them following prayer.
Family farewell prayer and blessing

Jocelyn ended her time at Crossroads well...I can't imagine what is more important than that.  I thank the Lord for a church that walked right beside Jocelyn through the toughest times.  Thank you for your prayers Crossroads and the blessings that follow them!

Words from her pastor that will remain with her forever!

So yes, I sit here missing our mother-daughter time together, but have learned a lot the last couple  years about God's faithfulness and trust that I wouldn't have understood any other way.  

I am resting in such peace that I can celebrate God's provision and the next amazing chapter of a new, Godly family whose daily lives will be pointing others toward the Savior simply by how they trust. love one another and just how they live.  And I really, really am very good!  

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5: 23, 24)