speaker: Chris Seay
I don’t know if I have a lot to say about Sunday… well at least the Sunday service… cause that’s not the main thing that stands out to me. Don’t get me wrong. It was a good sermon and we had some amazing things to share. One is we have a contract signed on a new building which will most likely be our new home next year. In the midst of considering our fund-raising strategy options, we think just focusing on ourselves is boring and not really us at all.
Chris, myself, and a few others had just returned from Haiti where we were filming stories to tell for this years Advent Conspiracy. While there, we met a pastor who showed us his church…. which was in need of a lot of help. We feel like this is one of many churches that we should raise money for as we are in the midst of raising money for our own building.
So a lot of good things were being discussed.
The main thing that stood out to me though is the marriage of Eric and Sarah.
Its a long story, but basically Sarah (one of the greatest people in our community) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She begins chemo this week… and in light of the fact that during her treatment she won’t be going anywhere, Eric and her decided to bump up there marriage from November to now. So in 24hrs, we threw a wedding for them at Ecclesia in between the 1pm and 530pm services.
If you’re not a part of this community you have to understand that this journey for Sarah… and now Eric…. is so completely painful for us. There has been just a deep pain in the hearts of us who know them and have been in community with them. And as a church, we are just floored with grief for this situation. But as Chris said, there will be much time for grief and pain. But now… we need to celebrate their marriage, and celebrate well.
And was it a celebration.
For a two hour wedding it was amazing. First of all the ceremony was unbelievably raw and honest. When you are saying vows about health and until death do us part, and that’s a very real reality, it cuts a lot of fluff out of traditional ceremonies. I don’t think their was a dry eye in the place. And just what they are committing too…. I don’t really have the words for it. Even now the thought of that ceremony makes me a bit weepy. Maybe someday I’ll be able to paint what it meant.
After the ceremony, we did party. We had DJ Red mixing dance hits. There was the photobooth provided by Smilebooth which always make a party rad. Food, champagne, toasts… it was great. One of the best weddings I’ve ever been too.
During the 9am service, I did the painting on canvas which was then presented to them as a gift for their house. The one I did for them (below) is a bit different than the ones I did for the rest of the services (at top). You can look into it whatever way you want, but for me it’s really an image of marriage. To different houses becoming one living flourishing new thing. And then the “live hope” comes out of Chris’ message that the things of this world will pass away and we need to live our lives investing in the things that last eternally. The eternal is our destination… our hope. So live that. Live hope.
I know one of my spiritual gifts in partying so maybe I just love the church that is good at throwing parties. But I thought Sunday was a really special day. Services and Sundays can become a complete focus on production for most churches… making sure their product is good for consumption. That’s all fine… I’m not really interested in it at all. What I love about what happened last Sunday is we did something families do. We took care of each other. We celebrated, laughed, danced (in our sanctuary… to hip hop even), drank champagne! We also cried, prayed, and are walking through suffering together. It’s what the church should be.
Please continue to pray for Sarah and Eric.Wedding photos taken by Brooke Schwab