It was a joy to share a first Sunday with you. I know the service went a little long, but I will eventually get the kinks worked out Many thanks to Jo Ann and Gerald and Joel for their help in acclimating me to how things are done, and responding to some of my “fresh eyes” questions. We made a first attempt at getting a video monitor going so that I and the band can see what you are seeing. It is a work in progress. I think we are going to have a great time serving Jesus together. Thank you for bearing with me and extending a warm welcome.
Some of you have commented on the unique necklace that I wear. To save time in explaining it one at a time allow me to give you some of its history. Its official name is a “Shout Of Joy.” Initially it was a creation of the Rev. Sam Lanham former pastor of St. Philip Presbyterian in Houston. I got my first one sometime in 1981 when I was serving as an Associate Pastor at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in Houston.
I wore it every day until 2011 when somehow, I lost it when I was serving as the Interim Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian in Odessa. The chain around my neck broke and unnoticed it fell to the ground somewhere. I lost my “joy” in Odessa.
Then, one day I went on an Artist retreat at Laity Lodge in Leakey, Texas. The retreats are held at the Foundation Camp started by Howard Butt of the H.E.B. grocery chain. At each retreat they always have an artist in residence. Each time I go there is a different artist teaching a different medium. At various retreats I have painted and sculpted and made a mobile out of tin.
On the opening night of the one of the retreats I attended in 2012 they were introducing the leaders for the conference. When they announced that the artist in residence for this retreat was a jewelry maker I got excited. I turned to the man next to me and said, “Oh I hope I could make a “Shout Of Joy.” to replace the one I lost. The man next to me was the artist in Residence, Jim Morris. He said, “I’m the one who Sam Lanham asked to take over production of them for him.” Right then and there I let out a silent “shout of joy.” So, during the free time with his help and materials I was able to make the “Shout Of Joy” that I now wear every day.
I love it because almost every day someone comments on it and I get to share its meaning. One millennial looked at it and said,’ Oh I love your Burning Man.” (She thought it was from the Burning Man festival that takes place every year in Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada.)
One morning at What-a-burger the cashier said, “I love your cross.” I said, actually it’s called a “Shout of Joy.” It’s more like a risen Christ off the cross.” She said, ‘AMEN!”On Sundays I usually wear a bigger Shout that was designed and made by the original artist. After worshiping with you this last Sunday and getting to play bass with your rockin’ band I think its somehow appropriate attire for the Interim Pastor of Joyful Life to wear a big … Shout of Joy