Today was father’s day and Christy was not home and I was up north with my kids and parents for the weekend. When Sunday morning rolled along I thought to myself what does a churchless pastor do on a free weekend? Go to as many different churches as possible was my response to my seemingly rhetorical question. So off I was in the morning with my kids still sleeping the summer away.
I first went to Lifeway Foursquare in Arlington pastored by my good friend Chad Blood. Chad started this church about four years ago in the heart of Old Arlington and it is a great body that meets at one of the local schools. You will quickly realize that these guys don’t think mobile means you should skimp. If I was doing a mobile church I think I would throw up a sound system and let everyone know to grab a chair on the way in. Not Lifeway, they have tables, coffee, fake walls, kid corrals, literature counters and a full stage of instruments and screens. They did everything right to make you feel you weren’t in a gym. I also got to drink a bottle of Dad’s Root Beer during this great service.
I next went back to base camp and picked up my kids and father to head to Stanwood Foursquare for the 11:30 service. I believe this would be the first time I have ever attended a service at such a late hour and was very curious to see what type of person would choose to mess up the middle of the day by going to church. Lo and behold they all looked similar to me. We all enjoyed every minute of this meaningful gathering. For Father’s Day I even kept my youngest with me and he endured well. It was great to see so many friends.
I then stopped of at New Life Church in Everett for their evening service. This is the same service as their morning however you could tell there was no time constraint of another service. Everyone seemed more chill. There gatherings are top notch as you would expect from a larger church. What you wouldn’t have expected was how intimate and unshowy it was. Real and authentic meet professional. It was really neat to get to see a few of the youth and adults I got to know at camp.
I spent my fourth service online in the car on the way to seatac. Some would say this is not church and even a couple years ago I would have agreed. But with technology we are invited into someone elses house and can partake in what they are eating. I got to be feed by Joshua Ferguson who is pastoring the people I just left. So for the interim I guess he is my pastor. It is pretty clear to catch online how relaxed and open he is with his new flock and how they have a gifted communicator of God truths. It will great to spend next weekend with them as we pass the baton on to them.
The thing that I take away from the day was that the Christian faith is alive and there are a number of places where anyone can grow in their faith. The cool thing also was that a couple of the places were using similar topics for their messages but yet how and what they communicated was uniquely them. One of them used a Scripture that I used just a couple weeks earlier and his message was nothing like mine. I thought it beautiful to know the Scripture is unchanging but yet new and fresh every morning. Each of the churches also are doing great things not just for by with their respective communities.
It was a great way for me to spend my churchless pastor day. Which is good sense I was going through withdrawals.
We have for the last couple months been eating down our food supplies in the house. Spices, sauces, meat, flour, and cranberry sauces have all been used. We have officially emptied the pantry, fridge, and freezer in the garage. We got a few more days left and I think we will be left with some pepper and a bag of flour. Pretty good.
Just like in The Hobbits Tale by Bilbo Baggins, Christy is going there and back again. This morning she is catching the 6:15am flight to Rhinelander WI. She is going home on planned trip we had on the calendar last year to officiate a wedding for a friend of our family. She will get to spend Father’s Day with her dad and be back Sunday night at midnight. All to turn around and go back a week later.
Don’t worry about me while she is gone, I got this single dad thing figured out now.
When we were deciding if we should be the lead pastors at South Everett Foursquare four years ago we met with Chuck and Ann Loomis to get their feedback and advice. They were a great couple that we befriended at our previous church. They encouraged us to pursue the new position and gave us, as we came to expected, honest feedback. We decided to take the position but only if they would come along for the ride. I don’t think they expected this ride.
So when we announced our leaving WA I immediately got on the calendar last supper with the Loomis. We didn’t want the calendar to get filled up without having one last meal with them. I said to them we came in with a meal and we would like to go out with one.
When our dinner came closer they informed us that we would be going out to dinner and not to come to their house in our pajamas. So on a Sunday night we met up and they took us to the Palisades Restaurant on the shores of Elliott Bay in Seattle. This is a great place overlooking the sail boats and cruise ship docks. We got a spectacular view of Seattle at sunset. With open hearts we shared life together one last time and with open mouths we shared one last meal. We, as is customary with Chuck and Joseph, ate way too much.
Thanks Chuck and Ann for eight great years. We hope your return on investment was high!
Fish + Big Shrimp over mushrooms and spicy sauce = explosion in mouth
Christy’s meal was the perfect trifecta: scallops, filet mignon, smoked asparagus
Us not wearing our pajamas
Jere and Lynn Wright, our friends since our first days in Washington eight years ago, couldn’t have us leave Seattle before we got to go up the Space Needle. So while we were down in Oregon they insisted (in their really non pushy nice way) that they treat us to a ride to the top. So with only three possible days left for the adventure we decided to strike on our way back up north. It was sunny and not very windy so up we went. For those of you that know me I am not a fan of tall structures. I get dizzy just looking at them from the ground. But this was a most enjoyable journey as got to go around the orb looking at the different views of the city. I told the kids if they looked really hard they could see the Mall of America. They didn’t buy into what I was selling.
Notice who is standing back a couple feet
Jere encouraging me to step up a bit.
No that is not a foster kid next to us.
On our way back from Salem OR and our great time with family we stopped for a night on the Oregon coast. Seaside OR is the ending point of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. We had a nice sunny afternoon and evening with the young boys playing in the water, the girls taking long walks and Joseph laying out like a beached whale (sorry no pictures of that).