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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?"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Celebrate

It was a long weekend and there was every reason to believe our numbers would be small. But it was a big day for a certain eight-year-old, ready to be baptized. Guests were coming and the presider had announced the week before that the font would be filled if others wanted to join. As Sunday approached, the person in charge had a restless sense that something might happen and we should be prepared.

Sunday dawned and Martina arrived for worship. Martina was a new member, having been baptized just eighteen months earlier. She came to be with her church family, to ask for their loving support in the recent loss of her own dear daughter to cancer. Those present surrounded her with love and care and no one minded delaying the start of the service. A second delay for a special Canada Day dedication meant that the service had still not begun when a second near neighbour lady arrived. She was not unknown to us for she had attended several times before and had, in fact, taken pre-baptismal classes with Martina just last year. But for whatever reason, she had not gone ahead at that time.

Now, here she was, drawn into the sanctuary with the font prepared in anticipation of another baptism. Approaching two of the elders who'd been with her in those earlier classes she asked if she might now be baptized. She had a strong sense of being called into the church that morning and felt confirmed by what she found there. Could she be baptized too?

Time seemed to stand still as necessary conversations took place. She would need a change of clothes. White choir robes were found to facilitate the immersion. Messages passed between ministers and worshipers. The priest who had come to baptize the child  agreed to perform the second baptism. The two baptisms happened amidst great rejoicing. The child delighted to share the sacrament and invited her new sister to be confirmed with her as well. That too was arranged.

The Spirit was present in the service in great abundance. There were seventy-five people in attendance. In this congregation that prides itself in "finishing on time" no one left the extra long service and most remained to share in the BBQ lunch and fellowship that followed. The spirit of celebration extended into the afternoon and only two or three did not stay until three o'clock basking in the glow shared by our two newest members.

Since that day I have shared with Bonnie, the woman who felt called to come in, who felt so welcomed and embraced by the Spirit and by the community. She will continue her studies with those whose concern and influence she knew before. She joined the group supporting her friend Martina in her loss. Those of us who shared this experience thank God for offering so many ways to be blessed if we are just open to them. 

by Paul Fitzgeorge
Brydges Street Congregation
London, ON

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful experience...thanks for sharing it. Love to hear such joyful stories!

    ReplyDelete