Thursday, October 01, 2009

An encounter along the way

The Regional Gathering of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Pacific Southwest is happening in a couple of weeks. I've been invited to write a litany for the opening worship. I was also asked to select two readers who will read their parts in their native languages and email their names and the litany to the planners by October 3rd so it could be translated and put into a PowerPoint presentation. Finally, I was told that someone is going to use my words in an original song that will be theme music for the Gathering. You know that news was fairly intimidating. "Someone's going to WHAT!?" As of right now, the Litany is not only not written, the writing has not begun.

Earlier today I was speaking with Mildred Butler, a member of the planning committee, about whether the Litany is to be responsive or just read by the three at the podium, and about the selection of readers. She reminded me that the theme is of covenant and journey, about our 200th anniversary and our future.

Immediately after we hung up a knock came on my office door. The young man standing there introduced himself as Alvaro Regalado, minister of a congregation of seekers in La Puente. He said he has recently become a Disciple and is studying with Pastor Alfredo Lopez in East Whittier so he can be a Disciples minister. He also said Pastor Alfredo told him there was another Disciples congregation in La Puente and that he should come meet me.

As he spoke to me about his literal journeys to San Bernardino and San Diego to understand who the Disciples are, and the meetings he has had about becoming a minister with Pastor Alfredo and our regional co-ministers I could feel the tears running down my face. I raised my hands in the air and said "God sent you here. I have been trying to decide who
should help me offer the call to worship at our Regional Gathering and who better than someone who is at the beginning of this journey, who is just entering into this covenant with us?" And so we prayed in the Spanish style, all of us speaking the gratitude and amazement in our hearts at the same time.

The writing will be easier now. The joy and amazement we shared at God bringing us together will glue all those other words together. God willing, they will be strung together in exactly the way we need them to be so that we can open our Gathering knowing that God is leading us. We may not know where we are going, but we know with certainty that God is with us as we set out/continue our journey in covenant with each other and with God.

1 comment:

Mary Jo Bradshaw said...

I finally had an opportunity to read your post. Wonderful story of the Spirit working when we least expect it... or at least when we think we aren't doing what we "should!" (Father Ara always used to say, "Stop shoulding and oughting.")