Notes from Jan

Church In and Out of Place

September 23, 2018

God’s Church doesn’t always look like ours, or yours.

Take today, for instance.

Church started out as usual, with hymns, prayers, offerings, and passing the peace with smiles, as best some of us can muster under life’s circumstances or before noon.

Ever notice how some sermons aren’t preached by pastors or priests?

Like the kid who squealed, “Yay!” as we were invited to the communion rail. Not sure which one, since more than one toddler wiggled free of parents to beeline for the blessing, which, if we really think about it, is the route and shout for all us sinners.

Consider the blessings of forgiveness, second or more chances, mercy, acceptance and love from the One who knows us best.


Patrick’s sermon from Proverbs 31 blessed  dailiness,  faithfulness, the work of our hands, linking us as co-creators with God, life sustainers, strong women and men of valor, more than capable folks. (ask  Dr. Alice Matthews.)

Sunday School reminded us there’s good news for older people.

Thank, God!

I needed some.

Afterwards, brunch with family at the Ipswich Inn, felt like extended eucharist.

Church, again, came out-of-place mid-afternoon at Ipswich High School, where our family’d gone to hear  the Cape Ann Symphony.

Maggie and Kate’s violin and viola teacher serves as principal second violinist.

A small podium became a pulpit with Yoichi Udagawa’s passionate conducting,  energetic appreciation for orchestra and audience.

God’s creativity sounded through the music of Bernstein and Prokofiev, violins and violas, cymbals and cellos,  woodwinds,whistles and more.

On the way home, I noticed a few maples beginning to show-off touches of red, orange and yellow, small sampling of  the coming grand showcase we call, Fall in New England.   

Nature’s church.

God’s “Yay!”

Everything, not just everyone, practicing praising God on one Sunday in September.





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  • Reply Jeri September 24, 2018 at 12:31 am

    I love the word “ Yay”! ❤️ So much expressed in such a small word…

    Thanks for the reminder Jan. Happy fall season!

  • Reply Wendy Lane September 24, 2018 at 12:49 am

    LOVE!! You captured “Yay” perfectly <3

  • Reply Gail MacDonald September 24, 2018 at 9:52 am

    You have a way about you, Janny, that shouts, “Keep your eyes and heart open, there’s something to learn in each and every moment in life. Don’t miss out. The fresh wind of His Spirit is there to compel us to see the “surprises” he has like you did in and around the pastor’s preaching. I love this about you! Yay!

  • Reply Tara Lombard September 24, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Just so true and so filled with fresh hope!

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