Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, May 31st at The Gathering - evening service

Just as we have been splitting the messages into two parts with two preachers in the morning service, we repeat this pattern in the evening as well. So once again Jeff Gentry and myself (Pastor Phil) are doing the teaching. Jeff is teaching on the first half of James 5, and I and teaching on the last half.

It is slowly growing darker now at 7:05 after we sang together, and prayed about needs. Only the smallest lights in the room are on, and candles are lit. At the communion table there are four candles on candlesticks, and a black box with with an orthodox icon and a candle in it, and a Celtic cross about 16 inches tall.

The evening service is a very small group often, and tonight there are about 10 of us.

One guy, who is a part of the church is sleeping in the back. He's sleeping off a drinking session. It's probably safer here than out on the street.

There is a pile of books on the floor in the middle of the room. It represents our attempt to find answers to life in black and white. A small beautifully carved wooden cross sits atop it.

Jeff is teaching again on patience and gossiping from the text of James 5.

"Patience in suffering" is a part of the text being developed here. Job, Moses in the desert, Abraham, Joseph imprisoned.... Now we are discussing personal models. Jeff suggests Mother Theresa, and James Shewey mentions a professor he had who told his students to prepare for the last days by taking the garbage out for mom when she asks - otherwise live our life now in preparation for the future. The guy in the back mentions Bev and I. He says that from time to time, and Bev an get embarrassed a little but love him a lot.

Now at 8:15 - I taught and connected Pentecost, and the openness of sharing the gifts of the spirit as discussed in ! Cor. 14:26-33 with James 5. The Carlos (the Prof. Carlos Z.) presented communion. Our sleeping friend woke up, and was a little trouble during communion because he was "sauced."

The service was a nice open service with good discussion times, and a little male heavy tonight, which is unique for Sunday evenings.

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