Rustlings (October 24, 2016)

I love our Narthex – the main entrance to our Sanctuary. It may actually be more of a vestibule (a narthex is technically on the west side of a building), but since I’m directionally challenged and have no idea what side of the building
our entrance is on, I like calling it a narthex. (I wonder if it’s actually on the west side of our complex…hmmm.) It is a place of beauty and community. I especially enjoy those moments in the Narthex after worship. Individuals share hugs and handshakes. Lunch plans are made. And I receive the unofficial regularly scheduled sermon critique. You share those sermonic phrases, stories
and moments that were meaningful to you. And of course, the fact checkers
give their reports as well: theological fact checkers, historical fact checkers,
philosophical fact checkers and, of course, the grammar police. I love you
all. Thanks for actually listening. We are a great community, and I love the post-worship time in the Narthex.

I’m not the first to stand in that beautiful Narthex. Most recently before me were: Jeff Rogers, Hardy Clemons, Bruce Morgan and David Matthews.  You enjoyed the same moments of fellowship with them in that same space. They contributed to the development of your faith and the joy of your church experience. I’m guessing they miss that Narthex, and you miss them. I hope you will be here on Sunday morning, November 6, to celebrate Legacy Sunday and All Saints Day. All of these pastors will be with us in worship that morning. Each will participate in some element of the worship service: pastoral prayer, scripture reading, litany, service of communion, etc. All will gather in the Fellowship Hall for a reception following the service (rather than the Narthex) so that you can have an opportunity to greet, shake hands, hug, tell stories and even fact check – one more time – if you want to. Buddy Shurden will be preaching the sermon for this special day. And because we have designated it All Saints Sunday, we will also remember those who’ve died in the past year and cannot be part of this great gathering.

Be here, invite your friends and celebrate all those beautiful moments you’ve shared with your ministers in the Narthex, home, hospital, Sunday School classes, Sanctuary and other holy places.

— Jim