Last weekend, Rev. Margaret Kelly preached and presided at Humble Walk worship (pictured with her sweet baby). Our community is gifted with myriad incredible leaders. I love hearing another's perspective on what it's like to lead this tribe. Wait. I should actually say, "What it's like to be led by Humble Walk" because we all know that I have been playing catch-up with you all since the beginning. It takes a community to raise a pastor. (Feel free to put that on a bumper sticker. I'm sure there is a 3 person market for it). Want a concrete example? Remember the first couple years when I would forget part of the Words of Institution--and would pause--and those gathered for worship would help me finish? Yeah. That. You will hear more about Margaret in the coming year. She is the mission developer at another brand new Lutheran church called Shobi's Table--a ministry with those who live without homes. They might buy and run a pay what you can food truck.
Anyway, here is Margaret's experience from Sunday:
Humble Walk Sundays are great. It is quite an honor to be asked to preach and preside at your friend’s church. Even more so, when you are repeatedly entrusted with the community.
It was Reformation Sunday and I got to celebrate in style.
This is why it was so great:
First of all, the community is so kind, welcoming, and chill. Totally my speed. I’m just showing up to support the community in worship. And I can get on board with a community that is kind, welcoming, and chill.
This Sunday I was warned that it might be a small crowd and maybe no one at all. The good Humble Walkers were returning from a retreat. I was relieved that I had prepared a sermon. It turns out, retreats bring people to Sunday worship!
Then it gets better.
Rachel Kurtz was preparing music. Not finding anything sufficiently reformation-y or freedom-y in the music repertoire, she decided to write a song before worship. Mind blown. I can read music passably. I can play the flute and pick out a song on the piano. Nothing exciting. Hence, the mind blown by a brand new, never heard before song!
But it gets better.
I know, I keep saying that, but it really does.
Rachel gets done playing and teaching us her new, fancy song. And then, has the audacity to suggest that the community help write more lyrics! Yes, the community. I was super excited about this, despite my musical apprehension. The community decided to take time to reflect and chose to write their lyrics as the closing song.
I preached. Nothing too exciting. Something about Jesus freeing us to be children of God. You know, reformation style freedom stuff.
Now, there are those who groan at the singing of “A Mighty Fortress.” I am not one of those. I love it. I find it delightful to sing, since it is pretty singable and you can belt it out. That, and I love getting to say, “bulwark” in context. God bless, Rachel. We got to sing it! We were accompanied by guitar and since we were operating on the fly, we whipped out our smart phones and googled the lyrics. The service could have ended there and I would have been a happy camper.
But then, it got even better! Seriously.
Remember the new song? The community was all over the new lyrics.
They were phenomenal.
It was what the closing song is supposed to be. A response to the Gospel and proclaimed Word. The lyrics reflected the deep love of Christ that frees us to be in community.
I was humbled by the Humble Walkers. The words I was called to preach were heard. The gospel that was read, was heard. And a community remembered their freedom in Christ’s love.
So, like I said, I love Humble Walk Sundays.