Sunday, 21 May 2017
Vitality and energy at St. Margaret of Scotland Church.
I gave my home parish (St. Boniface on Siesta Key) a pass this morning and went out to St. Margaret of Scotland Church instead. I was there partly because I have "supplied" there from time to time, but mostly because their Rector, the Revd. Carla McCook, is a valued member of our Tuesday morning study group.
It was a wise choice. There is so much good spiritual energy at St. Margaret's.
The congregation sings and makes responses with energy and verve.
I never thought I'd say this but think it's partly because the hymns and congregation responses are projected onto a screen. This results in worshipers looking up rather than burying their noses in a Prayer Book or Hymnal.
Rev. Carla (as she is known) preached a brief, intelligible and clear sermon. The service included a Baptism (always a morale booster for aging congregations).
Liturgy and preaching apart the best part of the service for me was the presence of a child - thirteen month old Charlie.
His Mum and Dad sat immediately in front of me. It was clear that Charlie felt very much at home as he rested on his Dad's shoulder, and looked back at me.
He and I had a long "eye flirtation" which eventually led to a "pinky" hook up!
What a gorgeous child!
That was not all. From time to time Mum and Dad caressed his fulsome hair with such tenderness. And a few times they touched each other, not in an ostentatious way, but as if to say "we are so blessed to have each other and to have this wonderful child".
When the time came for the Baptism I exceeded my authority as a guest and suggested to the Mum and Dad that they should take Charlie to the front of the Sanctuary so that this wee lad could see what was happening (he seemed to be fascinated with all that was happening), This they did.
Jesus said "let the little children come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven". I understood this so very clearly this morning.
Thank you Rev. Carla and the people of St. Margaret's.