I don’t like being late, even for Bible studies. Yet there was a bit of a perfect storm that happened today that managed to affect a variety of people in various ways. For one, I got a late start, eating breakfast at the house where I was staying and showering, and then having to hunt for some items to bring to services for my host, who needed them for the dance (as well as his Bible). By the time I got to the Bible study and found a quiet space in the back to sit at a table, the speaker had about forty-five minutes to go, which allowed me to see a few pictures and videos of the work in Angola, some statistics on the Portuguese speaking work in general, and some prayer requests for love, wisdom, and health and safety for those who work in such dangerous areas as Brazil and Angola, including the speaker. Such prayers would be easy enough to give, without a doubt.
Immediately after services it was time for choir practice, which went well. When that ended I was able to grab a couple of sandwiches for lunch and enjoy some conversation with some people and some observation of children who were seeking to find ways of enjoying their time while not being allowed to run amok. I was able both to have some personal conversations before services began which were rather interesting–one of the great aspects of this weekend, at least for me, is the chance to have conversations with people I seldom get the chance to, which often gives me food for thought and reflection, and the chance to see people I know in the context of others which can occasionally allow me to see different sides of them. Perhaps the same is true of me also, although I tend to think that I am Nathanish wherever I happen to be, and that many of the facets of my existence are something that can be seen wherever I happen to be.
Services themselves went rather well, I would like to think. The sermonette by our pastor (who happens to be the senior pastor in Tacoma as well) and the sermon by our Portuguese-speaking visitor and even the special music that we sang as part of the choir all told the same story, with a strong feeling of evangelism. There were concerns about the harvest being plentiful but the laborers being few. There were points as to the various responsibilities of members to do more than merely pray and pay (although those are to be done too), with even some speculations as to what was considered prophesying. It should be noted as well that these matters prompted some serious conversations among the group of us who were staying at one of the deacon’s houses, as we had conversations about serious biblical matters after midnight. Fellowshipping, even for such antisocial souls as myself, can take one long into the night.
I was also, in general, pretty fascinated by the way that I ended up being a node in several circumstances, helping people to find each other. Whether that meant helping a preteen find some of her friends, or helping the choir director and fellow ensemble player of Tacoma get in touch with the flautist from my local congregation who was not informed that we had an ensemble at the Tacoma weekend and that there was a teen division of the lego competition, to give but two examples, I had the chance to do a fair amount of people watching as well as to help at least some people connect with others. And being someone who tends to take isolation rather personally and rather deeply, it is perhaps little surprise that I would be so interested in helping others to make connections as well. Those kinds of things make for interesting and enjoyable experiences, and that is something to appreciate. Hopefully it is appreciated by the people I connect together.
There was only one person, or one group of people, who did not have a particularly successful time of it yesterday, and that was the people who were informing others about the weekend. One website blurb showed the Bible study starting at 10:30AM, and the main weekend website showed it at 10AM, and the Bible Study ended up starting at 10:30AM. There were different times shown for services in various places, with some saying it was at 2:00PM and some at 2:30PM. For the record, services ended up starting at 2:30PM. Information about the theme of the dance, “I Love The ’80’s,” didn’t go out to a lot of people, and some misinformation went out about the lego exhibition only being for preteens or about there being no instrument ensemble at services, leaving only two of us to play with the pianist. As far as the Tacoma Weekend goes, it was an enjoyable experience full of entertaining conversation and interesting observations to make, and worthwhile messages that pointed to some efforts at leadership training and encouraging better communication among members. And who am I to disdain such a thing? Since I already have enough posts for tonight, I am going to sit on this one a bit and see if I have any more comments to add after the sports events.