So I’ve just attended my first three services at FHC; 6 pm Saturday night, 9:30 & 11 Sunday morning. What did I think? Well first a description of what happened – and it was substantially the same for all three. First thing was atmosphere as you walk in – differed for each service if only because the crowd was a little different at each; and then there was the smell of the coffee brewing from a number of dispensers – huge dispensers. I didn’t know coffee could smell so differently in two different places; kind of a sweeter tone to the smell in US – still trying to get used to it. And there was a heap of it being brewed. You could have “regular coffee” and “decaf coffee”. I chose water – trying to limit my caffeine intake. Then at about 3 minutes to kick-off people started flooding into the Sanctuary where a member of the worship team lit up with “Love me like a rock” by Paul Simon (acoustic.) Then an animated display came up celebrating mums through various stages. Music Director J. Nicholson came forward and brought us into the first song; “All to you” by Lincoln Brewster which in the first two services he followed with a reading from the Psalms. Then we got into “You never let go” by Matt Redman and then by “How great Thou art” in the same tempo as “You never let go”. Try it, it isn’t easy – and felt a little breathless – probably because of the Howard Morrison version all us kiwis have gotten used – a more sedate yet dramatic pace.
Then David the Senior Pastor came on (I need to check that title) and lead the people in a time of reflective silence and finally gathered some prayerful thoughts together. David then introduced his wife Marilynn, the preacher this weekend. She was quite the academic before she married David, but she gave it up to be his wife. Then the band played “Doing it all for my baby” by Huey Lewis and the News – was done well. Marilynn spoke to her list of 7 qualities that help people to realise their dreams, was good stuff but I fell asleep the first time (sorry Marilynn, not enough sleep the night before.) What followed was a stunning treat, as a 12 year old girl did powerful rendition of “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus (not a favourite of mine…but oh well done. On all 3 occassions! What a kid!) And that was the conclusion apart from a parting comment from David that dismissed peopple to “go in peace.”
What I thought will follow in the next post. Reactions would be interesting. Be aware that some Charlottean Forest Hill, as well as the single “r”, types will be following this blog.