Alas I forgot to take my camera this morning - between the last post and walking out of the house I had too many other thoughts!
The Gathering Place looked amazing when I walked in and saw the Pentecost drapes - crimson with gold flames - and two five-armed candelabra with red candles waiting to be lit. Once the table had been dressed in red, yellow, orange and gold, and the cake and balloons added, all was set for worship.
Since I arrived last autumn we have had to increase the number of chairs slowly but steadily, as most weeks we now have around 70 people present. Today the 'extra chairs' on standby were used up and during the first hymn there was a foray into the adjacent room for even more. What a fantastic problem to have. The estimate is around 90 people. Given how many were away for one reason or another that was amazing. I often say numbers don't mean a lot, and they don't, but it is always a boost to the preacher when extra chairs have to be brought out. Better than the numbers was the warm (as in friendly, as well as physically almost hot), open atmosphere with laughter, singing and, when appropriate, quiet.
It was great to have our occasional band playing for us to augment the piano and choir. It was lovely to hear music sung in other languages and from many different cultures.
The balloons were a bit of a mixed blessing as a lot of them popped when people blew them up... next time I'll opt for cheap party balloons rather than gold helium quality balloons. Although having said that, it did remind me of a little 'verse' I read in some SU notes years back...
If we are all mind we dry up
If we are all spirit we blow up
If we are mind and spirit we grow up
Best bit of the day seemed to be the bubbles. I have to confess, I love seeing the air full of glistening, rainbow-hued orbs and feeling the cool touch of liquid on my skin when they burst. Somehow they seemed to appeal to all ages and opinions... and I think we really did pray with them.
I am looking forward to this evening's choral celebration of Pentecost, which will be very different and another expression of the joy and vitality God's Spirit brings.