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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Theology of Rhythm

This weekend at Westwinds was one of my favorite weekends ever. “A Theology of Rhythm” was the vibe for the weekend. I seldom blog our service orders but there were so many wonderful moment collections this weekend I thought I would share:::

An acoustic and very percussive version of Fee’s “You are the Light” kicked things off. Percussion was provided by our friends Eric and Stacey Jones—regular Westwinds friends also known as “Equal Temperament.” Their percussion duo is phenomenal and rocked the rest of the weekend. Equal Temperament Percussion Duo - Parhelion

Dave did a phenomenal job of tying in musical concepts and ideas into everyday experience and the spiritual journey. My favorite part of the message was Dave’s explanation of a heavy beat coming in after a musical rest or breakdown—the reason the drums are so significant and wonderful is because of the rest. Deep, Dave.

Interspersed through all of Fusion were percussive pieces and faith story videos. In a move to create a fun and light moment before the first piece we showed the famous “more cowbell” SNL clip.

Then there was the baptism! Baptism fit nicely with the Theology of Rhythm and gave us a chance to talk about seasons/measures, commitment, markers, movements and meter/tempo. My favorite baptism story was of the wonderful woman, Sandy who called me during the week and asked me if she was ready for baptism. "All I know is I want to follow Jesus." Yes, Sandy. That's enough.

I always tell folks I live from baptism to baptism. I think there is no greater forum or ritual or experience to portray life change. No video or life story moment ever eclipses a baptism in my mind.

For this baptism we built a large rock garden complete with two smaller lit ponds and a basin full of floating candles. The baptismal pool was a large lit hot tub that was donated by one of our own who owns a hot tub company. Over 2 tons of rock was used in the garden.

At the rear of the room was a table full of glass bottles and a basin of water. We invited everyone to take a bottle and fill it with water, pray for those being baptized, and then dump that water in the baptismal pool. This was to signify our participation as a community of faith and our commitment to one another in the journey. It also spoke of our level playing field. This was a significant moment—being baptized in the prayers of the saints.

I highly recommend a moment like this for your next baptism. Everyone was able to take part. The picture was moving—people with their arms around each other praying while holding the water—praying for new Jesus followers—praying for community—all while we sang “The Least I Can Do” by Mark Roach.

Everyone who was baptized was given a corked bottle with a vinyl Westwinds logo filled with water from his or her own baptism as a memorial of the day.

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