Inspired May 29, 2006

Who would’ve thought that you could build a whole worship service around shoes?

(What, the whole armor of God passage doesn’t make you think of shoes? If not, why not?)

This is the kind of inspiration, creativity and, some might say, insanity that happens when you gather together a whole group of exciting (and fashion savvy, I might add) individuals who believe, strangely enough, that the sacred text still holds a message for us today.

Last week I was fortunate enough to spend a day with a group of Calvary folk to discuss the lectionary passages for the whole summer and to bat around ideas for worship. We decided to do it now because of the weather: we’re only a few weeks, uh, days more likely, away from the hot, muggy, sticky, oppressive Washington summer weather. For just a little while longer, though, we can live in the illusion that the crisp air, bright sunshine and cool breeze are regular weather conditions for us.

And we also decided that our friend Harold needed us to visit his fabulous house on the Potomac River in Southern Maryland.

In attendance were two ministers, one minister-in-training, one summer missionary and aspiring teacher and one entrepreneurial artist (Caroline Armijo, pictured here in her very hip sunglasses). What a group!

In addition to laughing—a lot—we also read through all the texts for worship this summer, planned themes for the services, suggested songs and visuals (you are not going to BELIEVE the ideas floating around for Pentecost . . . !) and generally had the opportunity to get to know each other much better.

It’s my job to discuss worship with the worship committee of the diaconate, and in order to get the discussion of specifics going I have to bring ideas and plans for the time period under consideration. In case you do not already know this, one minister’s mind is a very lonely place from which to plan worship. But in a group of friends, sitting on the beach, sharing a lot of laughs . . . well, the richness and possibility of the worship experience seem unlimited.

I am pleased to report that, with the benefit of this inspired and inspiring day of brainstorming, it looks to me like worship this summer is going to be a creative experience destined to bring us closer to each other and to the creative God we worship.

Today I am thankful for the inspiration of God’s incredible creation, and for friends, colleagues and fellow travelers on this spiritual journey. What a gift!

And, the thought occurred to me . . . can you imagine the volunteers we’d have if all our church business could be conducted like this . . . ?

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