This morning, I went to a fantastic church service!
First of all, as we came in they were playing "what a friend we have in Jesus," sans mots, but it made me smile. It's definitely one of my favourite old hymns. They also sang "It is Well" in French, which made me think of our Worship Team back home and their jazzy way of playing the song.
Then, after singing a few songs, a group of girls got up and sang a couple of songs, one in English and one in their own language (not sure what it was...). The English song that they sang was "How Great is our God." It is such a staple song in churches in Canada, that for me I feel like it's gotten old and lost some of its impact and meaning. But today, when they started singing that song, I just felt so comforted and blessed. I actually paid attention to the words, and found that I was truly believing the words that I was singing, rather than just repeating words that I have sang over and over again. It just made me so happy to know how great God is, and reminded me of how amazing it is that He loves us!
There was also a dedication. The baby was so adorable! It was a little strange that it was just a dedication and not a baptism, but I guess it was a Baptist church and they don't baptize until you're older. It was great though, they basically went through the same parole that we go through in English, which was nice.
The sermon was long, but it didn't feel long. The pastor was preaching on words of affirmation, and used a lot of Biblical references to show how important it is to affirm one another in Christ. Apparently, by the time we are 18, we've heard 100 000 negative remarks and only 4 000 positive ones. I don't know how true this stat is, but if it is close, that is really too bad. How wonderful would it be if the figures were reversed! The sermon made me think about the camp I work at in the summer, and how we have encouragement envelopes in our staff lounge. We can write each other notes of encouragement and leave them in the envelopes... it is always wonderful when you read one of them, but it is even more wonderful when you write them. It is true, we do need to affirm one another more!
Later today, the Canadians are getting together for a potluck Thanksgiving picnic, so more about that later!
Have a great Sunday!