Revisits Are Important and Fun
Consistent churches are fun to revisit. They are warm, provide a spiritual boost, and give you that “coming home” feeling. I had such a moment yesterday, May 9, 2010, at Amazing Grace Lutheran when I dropped in for a quick visit.
Driving in, I thought the lot might be full because of the congestion, but discovered the youth were washing cars raising money for a mission project. Entering the church I was warmly greeted by a number of individuals radiating warmth. I was even wished “Happy Mother’s Day” with warm humor several times.[img_assist|nid=139109|title=Sanctuary Stained Glass|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=250|height=250]
The liturgy was Lutheran, but filled with graceful moments of humor and seriousness. In honor of Mother’s Day, Pastor Martin Dasler referred to celebrants and participants by their relationship to their mothers. This was an amazing mental twist, resulting in names being called, for example, Jane Doe’s son, Arthur. Even Dasler humorously found out, it’s harder to pull off consistently than it sounds, but he followed this pattern throughout the service, a living example of the unexpected I enjoy at this church.
Music Glorifying God
I was treated to a range of great church music, with wonderfully participative congregational singing, ranging from that great hymn of the church, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, to that old summer camp song “Have You Seen Jesus My Lord?”. A powerful Craig Courtney anthem, “Peace I Give to You”, was beautifully sung by their professional-sounding choir.
Recognition was given to the confirmation class, 8th grade graduates, and high school graduates. I really liked hearing, via personal presentations, where each high school graduate planned on studying, along with the focus of their studies. These presentations were accentuated by a few slides for each showing meaningful photos, baby pictures, fishing trips, family shots, etc.
The Lord’s Table
Finally, communion was a warm celebration circled around the table with approximately one-half of the church each time. Dasler closed each communion celebration with prayer, as we held hands around the circle. I was taken with how symbolic this act had become. Before communion, Dasler clearly pointed out this was open communion, something I rarely hear noted in churches.
This is a real church, in love with their God, and closely linked with each other. Strongly connected with their community, they are also actively engaged in helping those in need according to the gospel commission. They have a dynamic website, constantly changing, and appropriately loaded with the right information.
If you are looking for a church that clicks, Amazing Grace Lutheran is for you.