God loves diversity!
Our pastor reminded us of that recently in a video message which he sent out to the congregation. Surely God, who filled our world with millions of varieties of plants, animals, and people diverse in every way, loves to be worshiped with every kind of praise that we can imagine and create!
Paul spoke to us about God’s love of diversity because the worship team at FPC has been using a variety of styles in recent months, not because something new would necessarily be better, but because variety allows everyone to experience a style that speaks best to his/ her own heart. Knowing that no one style is best for every worshiper, we offer a diversity of styles to show our love for one another. A service may speak deeply to some of us one week; another style may do the same for others next week.
We’ve also introduced some new worship leaders who have added tremendously to our worship experiences. One, Crystal Heath, is the wife of Pastor Michael Heath, Director of Admissions at Missio Theological Seminary, where our pastor was formerly employed. Crystal (in addition to be being wife, mother of four, and grandmother to nine) is working toward a Master of Arts degree in Missional Ministry; a requirement for her degree is an internship that can allow her to use her gifts and receive hands-on learning in the process. FPC’s desire for diversity and Crystal’s great musical and worship-leading gifts were a match that seems to be an excellent fit. Crystal is assisted by a team of supporting musicians and singers, who are a family, and have played together for more than ten years: Kenya (keyboard) and Myles Collier (bass) are married. Erek McFadden (drums) is Kenya’s brother. As sisters in Christ, Marlo Leaks and Dominique Goldsborough (singers) are part of the family, too.
One of Crystal’s goals is to “bridge the gap” that can exist between people, the divisions (maybe age, gender, nationality, even worship style) that keep us from realizing that God is so much greater than any of us or anything that divides us. Sometimes building needs to be done to bridge the gaps between us, even in the family of God. She designs worship to reach in all directions, to create a community bound together by the love of Christ. In her words, “Missio Seminary exists to produce missional Christian leaders--men and women--who incarnate the story of Jesus with humility and authenticity and who communicate the story with fidelity to Scripture, appreciation of the Christian tradition, and sensitivity to the needs and aspirations of postmodern culture.” She and her team come to us with talent, sensitivity, and the love of Jesus Christ to lead our worship.
As we will worship periodically with Crystal and her talented team in the months ahead, we may be inspired to consider the other ways God is calling us to “bridge the gaps” that exist in our society, surely something that Jesus calls all believers to do.