Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
where our Pastor focused on "assembling." He compared church people to Legos by saying that if you dump a box of Legos on the floor, they are not "assembled" - you have to actually snap them together in order to create what you intend. Similarly, just showing up at the meeting house once a week doesn't mean you have assembled together with believers; you have to form bonds with them that enable the work of the Church.
Sunday morning we went to our regular meeting at Hilltop, and it was nice. But we had been invited to a "singing" at the Mennonite Church on Sunday night, and thought that would be nice, too. Bob forgot what time the singing started, so we assumed 6pm. No one was there, so we guessed that it was at 7, or maybe even 6:30. To kill time we went to WalMart and bought some onion starts. Then back out to the church, where people finally began to arrive just before 6:30.
We filed in with some others, recognizing a couple of youth in the parking lot, and stood around feeling a little bit awkward. The men were setting up chairs in the fellowship hall, and the ladies were sitting on a bench outside the door to the sanctuary. But it wasn't long until someone opened the doors to the sanctuary and everyone headed in. A man stood up and said we would do "chain" singing, and he called out a number to start with and selected a person to choose the next song. We flipped through the 1000+ songs in the hymnbook, somebody started, and everyone joined in with 4-part harmony. Our family didn't recognize most of the songs, but we tried to mumble along with the crowd. At the end of each song, one person would call out a number and a name. The number was for their song selection, and at first we thought the name was of the person who was to start the song, but we finally figured out that it was the person to pick the next song. I'm not sure how they knew who was to begin the song. Even though we didn't know most of the selections, we enjoyed listening, reading the words, and trying to find the right notes. Taryn discovered what a "dotted" note means.
After an hour of singing, we were dismissed to the fellowship hall (that's what the A/G calls it; I don't know if the Mennonites have another name for the area) for soda and popcorn. Before we could leave our pew, Bob was met by a couple of men who stood and talked for a while. I couldn't get out that way, and didn't really want to walk around by myself, so I stayed put. The boys found themselves part of a group, and ran off to get acquainted. Taryn chased Elijah. Naysha stuck close to me. A girl about Naysha's size, who is 16, came over and introduced herself and chatted with me for a while. Then a lady came by and talked with me until the men were ready to go find the popcorn.
I shan't give you a play-by-play of the rest of the evening, because we were there talking for 2 hours. The children had already settled at 2 different tables, so Bob and I split up to supervise them. Two ladies spent most of the evening with me, and Bob was part of a group of 5 or 6 men. We just TALKED the whole time. The men focused on spiritual topics, while we ladies talked about farming and diets and school and everything in between. When we finally left, we felt like we had really been "assembled together" with these folks. It was a really beautiful feeling to have had in-depth fellowship with other believers. I didn't get the phone number of my friend for the night, but she indicated they might come to Hilltop on Wednesday night, as they live closer to us than to their own church. I really hope so; I'd like to get even better acquainted, and Bob wants to go see their Bald Eagles. ;-)
I was so refreshed by the experience that I didn't get any REM sleep until after 5am. Oops.
I just realized I don't have a closing statement. Oh, well, I need to help Bob write his final for school. Have a blessed night.