Might have been one of our very first Love Tacoma Sundays. Titlow Park. Thirty-ish people, ages 1-70, armed with shovels and hoes. A huge mound of fresh bark. And right at that mound, purple plastic bucket in one hand and a little shovel in the other, 4-year-old Demara leans down from her wheelchair to scoop […]
Several years ago, seven college students piled into a 5-seater jalopy and set out to visit a church. The rest is history. Now almost every Sunday during the school year, students from University of Puget Sound fill several rows of chairs for worship at Discovery.
The faces change from year to year, but one of those first students still comes almost every week. Those who have met Lindsey Roberts don’t quickly forget her smiling face and friendly greeting.
Lindsey was a freshman when she started coming to Discovery, and it didn’t take long for her to look around for a place she could serve. Three years ago, she started with the Levite team, helping with set-up, and she continues to serve on that team throughout the school year.
Last year Lindsey started volunteering on Wednesday mornings to mentor middle-school kids at Giaudrone, helping to lead the Homework Club. There weren’t many students, but Lindsey enjoyed building relationships with those who did come and was exciting to watch them grow. She challenged one girl to go for two whole weeks without being sent to the office, and celebrated with her when she reached that goal.
Do you remember the first time you came to Discovery? Did you know anyone? Maybe you were a little apprehensive, wondering whether you would be accepted. Did someone welcome you?
Every week new people walk through the doors to join us. Often the first person to speak to them is someone from the greeting team who hands them a service folder. Or, if they have children with them, it may be someone at the children’s sign in table.
Quite often, the person who greets them with a friendly smile is Heather Neal.
Outside of the basic hygiene necessary to keep everyone thinking I’m a respectable (and sweet-smelling) member of society, there are only two things I do almost daily: read the Bible and watch Moana.
You’ve seen Moana, right? If not, figure out your life, dude. It’s been out since November, is super rad, and currently streaming on Netflix.
There aren’t even children living in my house and I’ve been known to watch it three times in one day. I’m not crazy, I just don’t have cable and Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius. And also, I am a little crazy, after all. I have been aggressively shushed by preschoolers for singing along. (Keep it up, Ellanora, it’s not like your Christmas present is on the line or anything.)
Sometimes it’s just pleasant, melodic noise to have on while I work or read. If I ever really sit and watch it, I cry every time. Every single one. Different moments hit me each time, but overall it comes back to this main theme: living up to the truth of who you are.
There are a number of Psalms that praise God, but perhaps none is as exuberant as Psalm 150. It is a glorious finale to the book of Psalms as it instructs us to praise God with a variety of instruments, including percussion.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Every Sunday the skilled musicians on Discovery’s Worship Team lead us in praise and worship. We can barely see the drummer at the back of the stage, but we hear the drums and cymbals as we praise. Every other week the drummer hidden back there is Martha Lentz.
Fresh brewed coffee! For some among us it is a necessary start to the day. For others, it is a pleasant smell as we enter a room. So as people come into Discovery on Sunday mornings, many are pleased to find coffee and pastries to greet them. But that table at the back of the room offers so much more than just a pick-me-up and a snack.
It is a place where you will find someone to greet you with a friendly smile, a place where you can pause and visit, a place that makes you feel welcome. It is an important part of making Discovery a warm and friendly church, and it is the people who serve at that table each Sunday who make it all work.
One of those people is Roxanne Roy, someone who is fairly new at Discovery. Roxanne is shy and she hesitated when Barb first asked her to help at the table. However, she tried it and found that she loves it. Setting up the table and preparing the coffee and goodies keeps her so busy forgets to be shy! Instead, she is simply enjoying meeting and talking to people and seeing the smiles on their faces.
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Sound is a important element of our worship!
In the Old Testament we read about David appointing musicians to lead in worship and the Psalms are filled with encouragement to sing and shout praises to our God.
The music in our services today is different than those worship services of long ago. Although we still sometimes use a tambourine, when was the last time you saw a lute or harp? Our stringed instruments now are electronic, the keyboard is electronic as well, and the folks on the worship team use microphones so that everyone can hear clearly.
All of those electronics are controlled by a sound board and require the expertise of a “sound man,” something those worshipers of long ago could not have dreamed of. The sound man sits at the back of the room and keeps everything sounding like it is supposed to. We usually don’t pay a lot of attention to that critical person back there, unless something goes wrong.
I want to be Superman! How many little boys have aspired to that goal through the years? When Ken Smith was five that was his desire and he tried a lot of things to prove his strength, including trying to lift his mom’s car.
Ken’s wife Diane had other goals. She wanted to be a teacher. In the second grade Diane and a friend convinced other kids to stay inside during recess so they could play school! Diane and her friend were the teachers.
I once heard someone refer to Discovery as a church in a box. It sounded odd, but it’s true. When we walk into Giaudrone middle school on Sunday mornings, it is a welcoming place with many of the details that you would find in a church building… the sign-in table for Kids Kingdom, the Connection table, the sound system, the projection screens, and much more. Some weeks there is even a baptistery.
Most of us don’t think a lot about how a middle school is transformed into a place of worship for a few hours on Sunday morning and then back again, but every week, one of three teams, we call them Levites, shows up with a trailer full of equipment to Giaudrone and sets up the space where we meet. When church is over, another team will pack it all up and return it to storage.
Like those who serve in other ways, the men and women on the Levite teams are using the abilities, skills and talents that God has given them to serve Him. Each one of them is important.
One of those people is Max Burke, who acts as team lead for Levite team B and is the general go-to person for anything related to set up.
“So you failed retirement?” The question was asked in jest and I laughed, but it made me think. I retired several years ago from a career that I felt God had designed for me. He had given me the skills and abilities that I used every day, developing and writing help systems, business practices, and […]