Tonight was our community Thanksgiving service, which I took part in (and by take part I mean read two lines at the beginning for the invocation). I am all for ecumenism (although I often find myself a Lutheran snob, and I try not to be) but there are a few observations I wanted to share with you.
1) I could not tell if the man leading the service was a pastor or a choir director. If he had not had "Pastor" before his name I would not have known. He seemed to think he was needed to direct the congregation with every hymn they sang. One hand firmly grasping the Methodist hymnal, the other reaching not quite the same range of motion of a choir director, but coming darn close.
2) What some of the area churches lack in denominational commitment, their pastors lack in theological meat.
3) I enjoyed both what the Catholic priest and the Baptist pastor had to say. They were not lacking in theology. I expected to agree with much of what Father Bob said. I was not quite expecting to agree so much with what the Baptist pastor said. But I found myself nodding in agreement with much of what she said.
4) The Lutherans were oddly absent. I was the only pastoral representative of the two Lutheran churches in town, and only two members of my congregation showed up. So much for my push for ecumenical relations.
5) The front of the Methodist church was horribly cluttered and poorly set up. I think it would be a good example in a book entitled "How not to arrange your altar area."
6) Methodists seem to be dealing with their clergy shortage by importing their's from Asia. At least that is what one would be led to believe, 2 out of 3 Methodist pastors were Asian women with very thick accents.
7) Even the promise of cookies and punch could not convince me to stay there any longer than I had to.
8) The only thing that kept me their the whole service was the fact that the only two members from my congregation sat directly behind me.
9) One of the nondenominational pastors quoted Bush in his little homily. I burped up a little vomit, but managed to not create a scene.
10) A cross above the altar can only look tacky when lit up from behind with a neon blue light. This goes hand in hand with #5.
11) The Lighthouse is a nondenominational youth center in town, I believe, and their youth were scheduled to sing tonight. Their youth consisted of one teenagerish boy playing a drum machine, the pastor who was a middle aged man and a middle aged woman, the two of which did most of the singing, another man playing the keyboard and then a high school aged girl who was supposed to be singing but her lips oddly stayed in almost the same position the whole song. She must have been demonstrating her ventriloquism.
12) There were no liturgical dancers. Who has a Thanksgiving service without liturgical dancers?
So there you have my observations of the community Thanksgiving service that I attended this evening. I was presented with the option of participating in the community thanksgiving service or planning and leading a Thanksgiving service at my church. I was told by a number of people that the turn-out for such a service is usually pretty sparse, and I already had a lot to work on with having to write a sermon and Supervising being on vacation this week... So I thought it would be easier to participate in the community thanksgiving service. I wish more people from my church had attended, but what can you do...
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you take some time to remember and thank God for all the blessings in your life... and I know that if most of you were to make a list of all of the blessings in your life I, of course, would be near the top. And that is as it should be.