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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

True Spirit

Here's Cheryl Brooks' report of the weekend we shared in Montreal. She acknowledges it's lengthy--but I'm going to give the whole thing to you. Enjoy her account of our visit with the Montreal congregation:

TRUE SPIRIT

This past weekend I accompanied a good friend on a road trip to Montreal. Not only did we share wonderful “windshield time” as Marion called it, but I also received “blessing time” from a congregation that knows how to show their true spirit.

We arrived at the church (which is located directly on an intersection and is attached to a car wash) on Saturday afternoon where we met the pastor – Albert – vacuuming and preparing for the evening service. Instantly, we were greeted and welcomed and yes, an invitation was even extended for me to offer a prayer in the Sunday morning service. – which I accepted. (Marion was giving a morning message for them)

(You see Albert is very good at inviting – a few years ago he put a guitar outside their front door and a young man came in and asked if they needed a guitar player – he is still playing that guitar for their services)

That evening’s praise service was amazing as young people led with songs, prayers, chants and lots of thanksgiving. A message was shared from Matthew about the 10 bridesmaids and being ready when Christ returns. Very powerful service – truly upbeat and lively.
Sunday morning we arrived early to find many helping Albert to get ready – microphones tested, instruments warmed up, coats hung up (you see Albert insisted on this since he was expecting all seats to be filled), and amongst all this activity there were still greetings given by everyone. By 10:30 maybe 25 were there to worship when we began and then people gradually kept coming in until we probably had 100.

No hymn books are available here but a few praise/chant books are, which most do not need since songs are mainly memorized and repeated joyously with clapping and dancing. No bulletins are used but there is great order in the service with the worship planner leading the congregation and the presider, Albert, with a loving hand over the service and aware of what’s taking place. No offering plates here but decorated colourful cloth baskets are used because offering time is joyful, full of singing and praise which flows right into the service.

Bibles, however are brought by most (hmm, something we don’t see in majority of our congregations) so when the scripture is read they can turn to the verses and follow along – also, most usually stand at this time.

Marion’s message shared about the gifts everyone has to offer along with how we are all connected as a mission center within our many diverse congregations. Another preacher (from a different denomination) followed her with a great passion to share the word as we were basically leading into a “revival” type message calling all to show what it truly means to have the spirit within us and do what Christ leads us to do.

Music was great throughout the weekend with lots of microphones (used to fullest potential), electric guitars, drums & keyboards. Praise and thanksgiving for everything is something this congregation shows enthusiastically. This is a congregation who is mainly Haitian, and they know all too well about loved ones who are suffering from Haiti yet they continue to praise God for everything.

All ages shook hands, extended greetings, some translated & most said God Bless. Oh, and did I mention I do not speak their language? - it did not matter.

Invitation, welcoming, gathering, sharing about Jesus & living it, - sounds like some aspects of the Healthy Congregation and our 2020 visioning goals!!

Let’s share the excitement of having Jesus in our lives – Let’s show what it means to have the TRUE SPIRIT of Christ within us.

2 comments:

  1. Vibrant Witnesses comes to mind when I think of our brothers and sisters in Montreal. We can learn a lot from them. - Barb

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cheryl,

    This is a wonderful trubute to a wonderful congegation. I love our Montreal congregation. They are everything you said they are: inviting, sharing, living and loving. Thank God!

    ReplyDelete