Worship at this event was awesome - truly awesome! Bishop Hope Morgan Ward preached at all three services. The first was a Service of Holy Communion. In her sermon, Bishop Ward mentioned adoption, special needs ministry, and hope built through pastoral care for a dying parishioner. Needless to say she touched my heart at several points.
The second worship was a Service of Healing and Wholeness. The worship settings (far beyond the altar) for all three services were awesome, but I didn't realize until the second one that each would be different and very appropriate for the specific service. For the Service of Healing and Wholeness, there was a huge (at least 12 feet tall) cross laid at a slight angle from the floor. It had votive candles all along the vertical and horizontal bars. In addition we were given a candle and a shard of a broken clay pot. At the appropriate time, we each placed our candles in one of several terra cotta pots filled with sand. Later we were annointed with oil if we chose.
As the service progressed, I remembered the healing God has already worked in my life. I am by far much healthier mentally and spiritually than I was 20 years ago. I have been healed from a great deal of childhood pain over the years. One of the big "healing moments" in my journey happened when I was a pilgrim on a Walk to Emmaus Weekend. I heard a woman tell a story about verbal and emotional abuse that rang so true with me that it was like that song "Killing Me Softly." I finally began to understand that in God's eyes, I am both lovable and loved. Seated right behind me at this healing service was a woman who had been on the Emmaus Team and at my table when this breakthrough happened. Now she's the wife of a Bishop. It was great to give her a big hug of thankfulness following the service.
My struggles with migraines for a couple of months leading up to this event made me ripe for this service. While at Bishop's week, I attended two Yoga classes and two "Late Night Relaxation" classes. This service happened between the Yoga classes. Healing had already begun. My head,neck, and shoulders were loosening up in ways they hadn't in months if not years. The second round of classes made a huge difference. I have continued Yoga classes since my return and have only taken migraine meds once in the last 3 1/2 weeks!
This healing service was just one part of a lot of physical and mental letting go that made this seminar on health ministries a turning point in my own physical, spiritual, and emotional health. More on this in later posts.
The third service was a Remembrance of Baptism. Again the worship setting was awesome - the whole altar area (read stage) was draped in a yards and yards long piece of fabric woven in all shades of turquise and blue. We had our own fabric river leading right to the font. Again the preaching was touching and meaningful and the music was incredible.
Thank you Lord for the blessings of these worship experiences and again as I recall them. Amen.
Tell me about a meaningful worship experience you've had.