The Greatest Rainy Day Ever…

I woke up again this morning realizing how blessed I am. Yesterday was a horribly rainy day in Monroe, LA (actually I think it was a horribly rainy day across most of the Mid-South region). I had to drive through standing water on the roadways just to get to church. I knew worship attendance would be affected (seriously, if I wasn’t the pastor, I would have reconsidered myself!), and the big, big thing was yesterday was the day we re-scheduled our previously scheduled first-ever “block” party. The first time we scheduled our block party we cancelled because of an ice-storm. This time, I would expect Noah and his family to be the only ones to show up. I was wrong!blockparty

I met with some of our staff members early yesterday morning, and we determined that we couldn’t cancel again. We decided to move the event from the recreation center field next door into our fellowship hall. I tell you, the event was amazing. Denise Hardy (who pulls double duty as our facilities coordinator and our children’s minister) did a fantastic job in organizing the event. The children had an awesome time playing the games and eating hot dogs…and dancing (my, how they danced)! The music was incredible, too! We have such a talented congregation. Let’s see…Chris and Kim Winterman, Jonathan Putnam, Treina Landrum, Kelsey Malone, Toby Traylor, and even Mr. Beevums himself, Jonathon Bevil, provided us with some great tunes to groove by, and everyone, especially the children, were dancing til their hearts content. And, did I mention volunteers? What a great group of volunteers Denise had organized to put on the event. From set up to service to clean up, the volunteers were amazing and abundant! They served so faithfully, and on a day when the title of the day’s sermon was “Serving Faithfully.” It might have been conviction that had them serving so well, but I rather think it was faithfulness.

I’ve written about the incredible staff and volunteers who made the event possible. Now, let me tell you about the incredible congregation that showed up for the event on one of the dreariest days of the year in Monroe. I won’t say they turned out in droves, but there were over 200 people who waded water as deep as 10″ in the parking lot to share the fun of the afternoon. I’ll tell you how bad it was–my wife, Vanessa, even threatened to turn around and go back home as she tried to get out of our neighborhood. Water was over the road it several places, and she was scared to drive through it in some places, but she, like so many others soldiered through and showed up to enjoy the fun. Amazing! Simply amazing…from an incredible congregation.

I must admit…I was discouraged when I went to church yesterday in the rain. A lot of planning, and a lot of expense had gone into preparations for our block party. We wanted it to be an event we could use to engage our neighborhood. I’m not sure we engaged our neighborhood very much, but we sure engaged each other with food, fun and fellowship. Maybe that’s what we needed for the first one. Let’s call it a dry run (did you catch the pun?) for future block parties–hopefully on days that are filled with sunshine and even more people. I was not, however, discouraged when I made it home last night. I was filled with gratitude and wonder as I considered how blessed I am to pastor such a great congregation. And, I was blessed by how their faithfulness helped to make yesterday the greatest rainy day ever…

Until next time, keep looking up…

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