This pastor experienced a first yesterday, during worship, that reaffirmed how proud and thankful I am to be part of this ministry; watching the church be the church.
[I didn’t witness any of this but am relaying on second hand accounts]
During the scripture readings our back-up organist started not feeling well. Some guys in the balcony noticed that she laid her head on the organ a couple times and kept dabbing her forehead. That prompted those guys to get up and head downstairs to keep an eye on her; alerting the ushers. Eventually she got up from her organ bench and laid down on the floor up front. That’s when I heard some thundering foot steps come from behind me and a rush of people (including 3 nurses) running to help Linda. My wife was included in that group of nurses (who was also holding our 9 month old son). Kevin, who also responded, grabbed Malachi so Connie could help and then Kevin’s wife, Emily, came down from the balcony to watch our children. Someone then called 911 and helped arrived in minutes. Linda walked out of the sanctuary being escorted by her entourage and was eventually taken to the ER as a precaution.
(NOTE: Linda was later discharged and is now home, doing fine).
After the scripture reading, while people were still attending to Linda, I lead the congregation in prayer and then continued with the Gospel reading and then the sermon. We never missed a beat. Following the sermon, Sharon got up to play piano for the final couple songs.
I think those who were involved would say that they didn’t do anything usual but rather just responded to someone who needed help. As the pastor I was proud to see people jump into action and fill in the voids so that worship could continue and Linda could be cared for. A couple times I caught myself tearing up in concern for Linda but also in pride at watching the church be the church. People knew their parts. It didn’t seem that anyone had to question what to do or who should do what.
They just did it.
That’s the Church in action; responding in faith in such a way that it is as natural as breathing. And I never really questioned that people would respond in such a way, but it was nice to see it first hand, even though I could do without the ambulance visit.
Father God, I an thankful that You were watching out for Linda and that Your Spirit was in action through the Church to provide care in so many ways. May You continue to bring healing to Linda and may the Church continue to be the Church; all to Your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.
The Pastor -|—