I recently finished a book edited by Dori Baker called Greenhouses of Hope: Congregations Growing Young Leaders Who Will Change the World. In it, one of the writers describes a congregation’s youth ministry through their awareness and verbally recognizing “God moments”. God moments are defined as “an instant of crystal clear knowing that God is present and active in the world”.
The congregation is a United Methodist Church that spending a lot of time and money doing missionary work and a lot of energy listening for and sharing “God moments”. As I read about their interactions and how they felt the holy while on trips to Appalachia, or during a moment of laughter in the middle of the children’s story, I realized that I’ve felt that same presence of the holy.
I just define it differently:
It’s the holy connection of love within a community. It is soul-nurturing midnight worship, lit with tea lights and song. It is the first time a toddler draws a chalice during Sunday School. It is late night laughter with colleagues and peers. It is Opening Worship from General Assembly 2014 * or the witness in Phoenix in 2012.
I call these “7th Principle Moments”, because they remind us of the interdependent web of which we are all apart. We come together to know, for just an instant, that love is present and active in the world.In Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut quotes his uncle:
“He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to NOTICE it. He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: maybe drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade, or smelling the aroma of a nearby bakery; or fishing, and not caring if we catch anything or not, or hearing somebody all alone playing a piano really well in the house next door. Uncle Alex urged me to say this out loud during such epiphanies: "If this isn't nice, what is?”
So, what are your “God moments”, “7th Principle Moments”, your “If this ain’t nice, what is?” moments that replenish your heart and soul?
* Watch the General Assembly 2014 Opening Worship Service.