My birthday celebrations kind of detracted from my preparation for Sunday (meaning: what I said at seven was a bit more coherent than at five!). But the restful couple of days also gave me some energy for enjoying last night. There was a lot to enjoy. Most of my enjoyment connected to the new things I saw happening.
Christine enjoyed being the evening’s host for the first time (with Mark, of course). She said she liked having an excuse to go around and meet people. It makes it a lot easier to break into the little conversation groups (that always look like they should not be interrupted) if you are fortified with a purpose. She and Mark also helped me clean out the treasure house of stuff stored under the Info Site for some reason (a big sack of Splenda?). It was like pre-spring cleaning, getting ready to meet the next church.
We were meeting them! An energetic young man wanting to start a new cell. A women with family ties to Nigeria from Wharton. A young man who said he just got off drugs and is trying to get it together. A Temple student from our sister church in Manheim. A friend of my new cell mate. Neighbors who have been meaning to come to the PM for a long time. My cell mate’s girlfriend, who we care about so much, deciding to show for the first time. A crew from Messiah Temple who had seen Monica McIntyre the night before. It was very encouraging to see everyone there. Plus, to top it off, Elizabeth gave birth to Shane Alexander Heinzenknecht right in the middle of the 5pm!
It was nice that there was a “there” for people to come to. People were making it. Katie wouldn’t just shake my hand — “We’re at hugging stage, aren’t we?” Melissa’s cell all showed up to make it happen. We could hardly end the meeting for trying to get things into the mix – like Annie being awed at discovering the Perkins and CCDA, like Gwen getting the women to retreat (and benefit from her research!!), like Hollis and the team trying new things, like people hooting for the Love Feast, like Kristen getting us to sing with Rwandan women, like a question shouted about, “Who are stakeholders?” Then people went down to help Jeremiah, Courtney got the finances in order, Karen helped put up a bulletin board. Nathan played his tambourine.
I came home thinking it had been a lot of fun, how about you?