Saturday, November 19, 2005

Blogging CCDA, Home Again

We've finally arrived at home. We finally got to hang out with Jeremy for a while. We set up a few times, but we always ran out of time. Today we were able to break away for lunch and talk like we were old friends who'd known each other for years. Never mind that we've only known each other as long as he's been blogging. He invited us to put together a group for a trip out to hang with the GenXcel folks for a week. They've got a lot of great stuff going on, including some of the toughest people groups for ministries to work with right in their neighborhood.

I never did blog on Jim Wallis' message Friday night. The whole evening was simply amazing. The Black Gospel liturgical dance by about a dozen young ladies almost ended when the sound died, but the audience kept on clapping to the beat, the girls kept dancing, and folks in the audience who knew the song sang it out good and loud. As soon as the girls finished their dance the sound came back on. They ran back to the front (they ended the dance in the aisles) and picked up again. The whole place was simply rocking by that point (somehow the chandeliers in the meeting hall stayed attached to the ceiling!). When the finished the second time the audience went crazy. Noel, the emcee for the conference, hopped on the stage, asked the sound man to start it again with the dancers leading the audience around the room and the Hope House Choir joining them in the lead. The song went again and about 1200 of the 2000 people were packed into the aisles dancing the song out again! By the time the Hope House Choir got on stage to bring the place down, the folks in the crowd were wiped out! The Choir still got folks to their feet clapping and swaying with the Gospel tunes. Nothing like an all-male choir of recovvering addicts and alcoholics doing Gospel to bring a tired crowd to their feet!

When they finished, it was time for the evening's speaker. Jim Wallis blew me away. I don't think I'd ever heard him preach before! We walked out of the hall and dropped $22 for his most recent book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. The dude could preach. I don't know that I've said, "Amen" so much in one sermon in a long time!! No wonder kids who've given up on the Church are picking up his book. He understands and counters the hypocrisy that so often passes for "Biblical" Christianity these days. Has anyone asked you lately why the most Biblically conservative countries are the ones with the biggest racial problems? It's time to start getting it right, Church!! Anyway, I'll post more on that message once I dig up Jill's notes. Definitely a lot of stuff worth repeating.