Thursday, December 24, 2009
What Goes Into 10 Seconds?
Let me try to describe one of the recent events that is an example of our work at New Day this year. Imagine you are attending the Grand Opening Celebration (Nov. 14) for the new Northstar Commuter Rail that now transports commuters from Big Lake (& 4 stops in between) to downtown Minneapolis. You are one of about 2,000 people who are walking through the huge tent which has been erected for this event. You find a cup of hot cocoa and a snack and then you walk by a booth with a Christmas tree decorated with yellow stars and a big screen TV showing slides. You are greeted with a warm smile and the words, "Don't let the holidays stress you out!" as you receive a flyer and a stress ball in the shape of a yellow star. The back of the flyer has info about New Day United Methodist Church, including the worship messages for December:
"Unplug the Christmas Machine"
"Stuffing Candy in Your Socks
(and other inane traditions)"
"Grown Up Christmas Wishes"
"Shhh... Did You Hear That?"
What we hope is that you'll take your star home, get on the internet, check out the New Day website and decide to come try out the new church!! What you may not realize in that moment of contact, are the hours of planning, preparation and prayer that had been spent in order for that one small interaction to occur. Things such as, listening for God to inspire the theme, the message titles, the graphics, etc. for the worship series; ordering stars and designing the flyer; traveling an hour to get excellent copying at an afforable price; website updating; taking pictures of events and creating the slide show; finding volunteers and staff to haul the tree, TV, etc. to the tent, set up the booth, hand out the flyers/stars, etc.; designing message, music and interactive ideas to create meaningful worship; finding money (mostly outside of the new faith community) to finance it all.... well, you get the idea!
So, why do we do all this work, when we're not even sure you will come?
Because people who do come are being blessed! And you might be like one of these: The 5th grader who answered the question, "Something that makes me feel safe..." with "this church." The numerous men who, after years of non-attendance, are finding meaning and direction from worship. The mom of preschoolers who commented that coming to the women's gathering is "better than therapy!" The parents who, for the first time since their 18 month old daughter was born, are able to worship because she happily plays in the childcare room.
People need God's hope, peace, love and joy. And we need each other to find them! That's all the reason we need.
We pray that your holidays are unstressed and full of the Prince of Peace who brings hope and joy in abundance at all times!
Wishing you blessings for each New Day...