Woke up early-5:15am-to get ready for church. It was 3rd Sunday and that means that the whole choir is on to sing. We arrive at Center of Praise to warm-up and go through our set. It is 7am. Warm up time goes great and I am at the mike with Cynthia and Bette'. I confess I was a little bit distracted because I HATED what I was wearing (I am throwing away that dumb skirt!)
After we are warmed up we head downstairs to 'circle-up' and pray. We start first service at 8am. Then we have a 9:30 and 11:15am service. The choir starts with a hymn. Today's was 'Higher Ground'. Then we sang "When You Praise", "To Worship You I Live" and during the offering "Souled Out". I have to clarify something. We are part of the choir, but it isn't a choir that people just sit and listen to. It is more like the choir leads the congregation in song and worship.
Last Sunday, early morning, one of the youth workers was killed in a single car accident-he had fallen asleep at the wheel. The young man was 19 and the only child of his mother. Bishop called the family up to pray for them today. This mother is devastated and there was such tenderness for her. As you can imagine it was a 'moment' and all seemed to be holding their breath. It just felt reverent.
After the prayer the family went back to their seats. Bishop then talked about another young man who was shot 6 years ago while he lived in the Bay area. It seems this young man was walking to the store and some stranger drove by and shot him in the head. He made it clear that this man wasn't into gangs or drugs, he was just running an errand. The doctors thought he wouldn't live 24 hours. His mother asked the COP congregation, where she attended, to pray. Well, this man survived with the bullet lodged in his brain. He was a bit paralyzed on one side, yet he made amazing progress.
Two months ago, he went into surgery again because the bullet was giving him pain. The doctors were able to remove it and the man is becoming whole again! He brought the bullet today (it was in a safe container) and was walking, clapping and dancing! Praise God! He couldn't stop smiling and the whole congregation was caught up in the joy.
All were dancing in their seats, clapping and shouting. The band kept playing and the music took on a life of it's own. It was a great time of praise.
After the services are over, Victor gets a call to come check out the new offices of the Jewish Federation. They are 2 blocks away so we go for a visit. We see some friends that we haven't seen for a while, Michal, Noam, Neal, Fred, Rick and Michelle. That was fun too and, thankfully, they had lunch :D
This, friends, is why I took a 2 hour nap! I was very tired and I still am...