Sunday, February 22, 2009
the grapejuice sparkled
A real celebration at Opawa this morning, with the baptism of T. She wanted it to be a party. So as T. came up out of the water, a bottle of sparkling was opened. As the cork was popped, arcing over the piano, there were cheers of celebration, followed by a community toast “to life.” It was a great expression of God’s goodness and life.
T. first stepped into the Opawa building when she joined us for our annual Spring clean day. (Annually we combine with local community groups, sharing in community projects, enjoying food together. I initiated the Spring Clean when I arrived at Opawa 5 years ago, and it has grown and strengthened ever year since).
Before that, Opawa’s relational involvement with the local community cottage, meant some relational bridges with T. had naturally formed. (This includes one of our pastoral staff, whose role includes hanging out in the community). Following the Spring Clean day, T. checked out church and has continued to grow.
A tear leaked from my eyes as we toasted life. T. is the second baptism in the last few months of an adult, a local, with little previous church involvement. It’s not always been easy being the minister at Opawa, and leading major change in a historic and conservative church. Today just makes it all worth it.
It caps off a great week for the church – excellent annual meeting, a new discipling group in the form of Life Shapes begun, a successful first Bible day, gathering around the Gospel of John. It just feels like the Kingdom – harmony in a diverse body, intentional growth structures, deepening of Biblical engagement, new life being celebrated.