My Own Service from 2009

When I was pastor at First United Methodist Church of Hudson we held service outside on one Sunday in September.  It was called “Block Party”.  I post it here not because I believe it is a standard from which some of these service review churches could learn but because I think it is only fair to put my own work on display too.  Criticism is welcome.

Untitled from Doug Johnson on Vimeo.

Looking back at the video there are certainly things I wish I had done differently.  I should have worked harder to find a band and not trust that my solo guitar accompaniment would be enough.  This was part cost saving measure and equal part hubris.   I also wish I hadn’t split the sermon into two parts.  That was an experiment that probably made the morning seem longer than it was.  Finally, I wish I had worked harder to create a beautiful set or chancel.  The yellow buckets were our main theme, but wow, the balloons made it look like a used-car dealership!  Where were the plants, fabric and pictures?

But I am happy about the way I engaged children with bells at the beginning. It is hard to tell from this video but it sounded like a rush of wind (Pentecost?) blowing through neighbor’s yards and wind chimes until finally arriving in our service.  I am also happy with the way two novice musicians were called to offer their gifts.  It had awkward moments, but I like the heart that it revealed.   Lastly, I liked the message.  It was personal.  I do believe that faith and religion help us to find wholeness in our lives because I’ve experienced it.  I’ve been both characters in “Bucket List”, or as Saint Paul put it, I know what it means to be content.  I’ve preached more than a few theoretical sermons, but this one was also practical.

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