So, since it was a very excellent Sabbath, I wished to describe my Sabbath and what it says about a positive culture that is developing that promises to make 2011 a less stressful year than 2010 was, which is definitely a welcome development. I went to both St. Petersburg and Tampa services today, which was nice, even if the music was a bit hard to follow in St. Pete. The numbers were pretty strong in both areas (over 100 in Tampa, around 60 in St. Pete). However, there are two elements that would appear to be most notable in the positive cultural change that are worthy of discussion and hopefully will continue.
The Laughter Has Returned:
One of the people I was enjoying a spirited conversation with in our pot luck this evening stated that this was the first potluck in which she felt free to laugh and cut loose in months, and to be honest it was a pretty enjoyable conversation. It’s nice to not have the elephant in the room, not have the tension of conflict, and to just be with people of like mind without having to worry about starting a fight. It was definitely a very relaxing and enjoyable time.
The other important element of today was the aspect of leadership training. We had a good group of people who have not given sermonettes in Tampa Bay for a while (me) or ever (three others), and it looks like we have four more sermonettes ready to go. I have one on the Sons of Korah that I will be tweaking for next week (expect to see it relatively soon on this blog as an entry), and the other ones I heard this evening were excellent–on varieties of grapes, the trouble with sacred names, and the importance of showing hospitality to strangers, guests, and returnees. All were excellent and worthwhile messages. It’s nice to see some leadership training within the congregations to help broaden the base of service within the congregations here in Tampa Bay. Here’s hoping it continues.
All in all, it was a Sabbath very well spent, and I’m sure the rest of my brethren who spent their Sabbath day serving the brethren and seeking to preach the Gospel and prepare a people would wholeheartedly agree.