Saturday was a funny day for us as we anticipated our first Sunday. It has been 8 months since we last led a worship service so we were both filled with some nervous excitement that we had not felt in years! It was good to start to feel this rhythm again, of preparing for Sunday and getting ready to enter into worship with a church community that we would now be journeying with over the next several months.
New to us in this setting is commuting to church via public transportation. The bus route was quiet and easy and we arrived with plenty of time to spare. Our associate and a host of volunteers had things well in hand and it was a delight to watch the moving pieces of a church community working together towards readying the church for a morning of worship.
We were both thankful that we had attended church the previous week and also for the lovely gathering that the council held for us on the previous Thursday. These two events had allowed us to begin to meet people, put names and faces together and give us a sense of belonging early on in the process.
An added bonus to our first Sunday at AIC was that two families who had worshipped at Immanuel in Stockholm were present with us. One, a couple from Germany, who happened to be in town for business and came a bit early to participate in our first service, and the other a family who had relocated to London about a year and a half ago, who actually live near us in London! What fun to see those familiar faces in the congregation.
It was good to worship together, to hear Doug preach, to lead in prayer, and to be so warmly welcomed. The ministry feels exciting to us and we remain humbled and blessed to be a part of this community for however long this season lasts.
After church, a group ventured over to a local Italian restaurant, and we enjoyed some warm conversation and laughter.
It feels genuinely good to be plugging into a church again. There were some feelings of adjustment as we started anew and yet, there is a deep familiarity with our roles as pastors that feels good to awaken.