“What do you think God is up to?”
That is what one of my mentors, the late Rev. Bill Bryan, was fond of asking in the face of unusually compelling developments. Last week I talked about the Pareto Principle and how it is that when 20% of your church's active membership does something, the rest tend to follow. At our first Mission Together event Sunday, we had 467 people our one worship service (you always lose attendance after Easter and when you take away people's usual hour of worship) and 270 of those went out the door and into the mission field through a dizzying array of outreach opportunities. That was 58% of our people in attendance on Sunday. Even if you use our weekly worship average of 693, that is 39%.
I have rarely been so humbled and so grateful for so many. I am especially grateful for Mission Chairs Leslie Harris and Debbie Ison and clergy staff liaison the Rev. Diane Presley for recruiting and organizing this first-ever event. I toured the 5-6 sites on campus and 6 sites off campus and saw nothing but smiles and a few tears of joy for the grace we were connecting to community. It was an amazing day - almost a Pentecost sort of day where all came under the influence of the Holy Spirit and causing some to ask, "What does this mean?"
My friend Bill Bryan would just smile an impish smile and ask, "What do you think God is up to?"
Thanks be to God in this Easter season,
P.S. Thank you all for your grace of words, cards, hugs and memorials on the occasion of my father's death on Easter. You have touched me deeply and I am grateful. We will be holding a memorial service in the Houston area where we all grew up. It will be on Father's Day weekend. Since people have kindly inquired, in lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to the Alzheimer's Association or the Saints of Light Fund. Cammy, Blaine and I are blessed by your love.