June 26, 2012: Unadulterated JOY

Posted on : Jun 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Still Speaking

Unadulterated JOY is about the most accurate rendering of Sunday’s “Proud 2 b UCC Celebration.”   I was so hoping there was some way you all could experience what I have been experiencing in the United Church of Christ – and it happened on Sunday.

From your lips to God’s ears:

What a great service tonite!  I am still on such a high.  Tonite I especially felt filled with the Holy Spirit – maybe it was because of the full sanctuary, the huge number of voices singing through the rooftop – I don’t know, but tonite really brought the Holy Spirit to me!  Thank you.

And now that it is all official, that glow that has been growing around you (Dan) this last year has turned into a very bright light.  It is so great to see the joy in your face, and hear it in your voice as well.  I’m sure you’ll be taking a very deep breath now.  Congratulations, Dan!  Another job well done!

I also want to send a special thank you to Laurie, John and Neal.  There may be others who helped, but I have no doubt how hard those three worked to make this evening a huge success, and as special it was.   Really, it could never be done without their hard work and dedication.  WHUCC is truly blessed to have them.

Again, it was a truly beautiful afternoon and evening.  Thank you to all those who made it so.

God bless always,



Whoa there, big fella! (referring to Henry)

Thanks for the thanks, but John and I were not the work horses.  We just bought and brought stuff.  The real time and effort were donated by Laurie, Randy, Dan, the Church Council and their magic elves.

But you are right on the button that the service was downright levitational!  We have changed from a congregational church in isolation to a congregational church inside another big, wonderful congregational church!  Kind of like moving from an isolated ranch to a small town where the neighborhood actually shows up to greet you.


On Monday morning Gary was serving lunches.  He took his hand and raised a silver and gold cross he was wearing around his neck.  He said, “I never used to wear this cross because I was so angry and hurt by what Christians have said and done to us, but after yesterday, when I met a whole group of Christians who changed my life, I want to share the love that this cross represents.  I’ve never experienced such love from Christians before.”

Sunday was a profound spiritual experience.  One of the great things about spirituality is that it is more powerful than words can describe.  And so it was.  UCC’ers came from all over Southern California to welcome us, love us, and celebrate with us.  The Holy Spirit was present in every one of us.  It was levitational.  It was what Christ died for – a Church that is overflowing with Christ’s love for God, for one another, and for ourselves.

What we experienced on Sunday was unadulterated joy.  Pure joy, not mixed or diluted with something else; free from any element that would spoil or detract from it.  As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi:

“Rejoice in Christ always; again I say, keep rejoicing!  Let everyone see your forbearing spirit.  Christ is here.  Have no anxiety about anything; instead, present your needs to God through prayer, giving thanks to God for all circumstances.  Then God’s peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your heart and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4: 4-7

As I said on Sunday, “the Journey is Home” and we have found our Home.

Rejoice and Party On!




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