Full Worship Service and Sanctuary

Two weeks ago we went to worship at Lewis Center United Methodist Church.  We attended Lewis Center a couple of times in the spring and are tending toward considering it “our church” when we are in Delaware.  We like going to church with John and Jackie and my parents, but feel like we need a church where we can get involved in some things.  The longer I am out of ministry, the more I miss being part of a church.  Last Sunday was a full worship service and a full sanctuary at Lewis Center!

The bulletin indicated what a full worship service it would be.  Lewis Center is very active in missions and other kinds of outreach.  Tom noted the Trustees work day and I decided to sing in the Christmas Cantata.  Practices for the Cantata are on Saturday mornings, and I can attend all of them!  We also talked about helping out with the Hat, Coat, and Glove drive.

On the wall when we came in. Good to know what to do as a visitor.

The full worship service started out with some announcements and a joke told by one of the church members.  “Why did the man throw the tambourines into the lake?”  “He wanted to drown them before they grew up to be banjos.”  Not very funny, but the congregation groaned appropriately.  Another person talked about naming the church in your will as part of the stewardship campaign (not something I miss as a retired pastor).

The first Sunday in November is traditionally “All Saints Sunday.”  This is a day to remember the members of the congregation who have died in the last year.  Lewis Center did a nice job of this by reading the name, showing a picture, ringing a bell, and lighting a candle.  They also included immediate family of members.

The choir sang a couple of beautiful anthems and we started learning a new theme song.  Lewis Center pics a theme song every month and we sing it every week so we all know it.  November’s song is “Sinking Deep.”

Rev. Tom Hanover

Rev. Tom Hanover presented the sermon, “More than Mashed Potatoes.”  He told about mashed potatoes being a favorite with him and his three brothers growing up.  But there were never enough of them.  From this story he segued into talking about how difficult it is to be thankful when life doesn’t turn out as you expect.  He asked “Is it possible to be thankful for a life we didn’t choose?”  This was the important thought for me in the sermon, although he pulled in a lot of other thoughts that seemed less germane.

Then, continuing the full worship service, we had communion.  Most United Methodist Churches celebrate communion on the first Sunday of the month.  Lewis Center moved the 300 people present through the elements in a timely manner.  We went forward and dipped a piece of bread in the juice.  This method is called intinction and it works pretty well for a large group of people.  The last people to take communion were the youth, which have their own worship service in another building.  Tom and I were pretty impressed to see about 60 youth walk forward for communion.

Tom and I like the Lewis Center United Methodist Church.  It feels familiar and is doing lots of good stuff.  We are impressed with how it is growing and changing as its neighborhood changes from rural to suburban.  The two pastors are personable and friendly and there is a good music program.  We are looking forward to getting more involved while we are here.  They don’t seem too full to include us.