Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, CM, welcomed us as we experienced the transformation within the Sanctuary. He also acknowledged Rev. Deana Dudley’s role in leading the sunrise service by the lake while remembering there was a time (long ago) when he’d also led the earliest service. Lucky Deana! She deserves our thanks … and a nap.
Many children had a prominent role in the redressing of the Altar as they carried flowers down the aisle during the Processional Hymn. It seemed as if some of the flower stalks were taller than the smallest participants!
Today’s Lesson could have been structured along more traditional themes but Brent chose to present something different in Fully Awake and Truly Alive: The Fruits of Service, teaching us that, when we delve deeper into the well of our souls, we can still be gracious in giving (dismissing the concept that we cannot give what we have not received ourselves). Referencing the first reading from Galatians 5: 22:23, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Music Director Diane Leah led a splendid instrumental ensemble (two violins, viola, cello, double bass, recorder, clarinet, trumpet, and drums) that combined forces with the Choir to produce music full of joy, especially in the triumphal Processional Hymn “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today”. During the time of Anointing, “Amazing Grace” was given a cool jazzy vibe by the inclusion of the double bass and there were many other moments of melodious instrumental mingling. I experienced goosebumps during the Offertory when Dale Miller and the Choir sang “Better Than I” (with a Hallelujah coda).
We could not have ended on a better high note than in the Closing Hymn “Rejoice, Give Thanks And Sing”. Inspired by soaring voices, we couldn’t help but be uplifted as we went out into the world.