Monday, September 22, 2008

My son's friend's mother is a rock star.

On Sunday instead of picking my son up from an overnight at his friend Hudson’s house, I went to his friend’s church. Hudson’s father is the pastor. I figured I’d get out of there with enough time to skedaddle over to the UU right after. Two doses of religion, yeah, I could use that!

Didn’t know what to expect but was definitely curious. This is the church that rents the Galaxy Movie Theater on Sunday morning. During the week they meet in each other’s homes in small groups. I’ve read about these non-denominational churches that really connect with a younger crowd.

So I arrive to a big bouncy toy in the parking lot and kids squealing with delight. Owen, Hudson and some other early teens are hanging out on looking cool on the steps. Owen knuckle-bumps me, but looks a bit confused. “I thought you were picking me up after church. Did you come to watch?”

I chuckle at his choice of words. “No, I came to worship with your friend’s family.” He grins and knuckle-bumps me again. I go inside while he stays behind watching people the parking lot congest with the faithful.

Inside the movie theater has been transformed with black curtains and little white lights. An attractive welcome table has what I assume is an Order of Service with something tucked inside. I grab one and head in to the first theater where I hear a sound check. There in the front is a band warming up. Two guitars and a drum set. An attractive women a little younger than myself strides confidently up the aisle and then turns to me.

“I don’t think we’ve met. Are you new? I’m Tracey.” “I’m Tandi.” It both dawns on us who we are, and we light up. She’s Hudson’s mother. We exchange pleasantries and appreciation that our boys found each other. They both like skateboarding, but not skater culture. They both play football, and Owen is down with praying with Hudson before games for help to do his best. I’m glad Owen has a PK as a friend with which to commiserate. Tracey excuses herself to go to sound-check.

Soon after the band starts up. Tracey whips out a tambourine and before I can grasp the situation she starts belting out a catchy song like a rock star. My son’s friend’s mother is a rock star! The packed theater in on their feet swaying to the music and clapping and singing. I find nothing offensive in the lyrics. Quite the opposite. I release my inner rock star and sing it out:

I am free to run.

I am free to dance.

I am free to live for You (I translate You to mean Beloved Community.)

I am free.

Hudson’s father Pastor Jon gave an outstanding message referencing some of my favorite Bible passages and introducing their small group ministry groups. He brought up the leaders and commissioned them with a prayerful blessing.

I took notes. I want this for my own church. I want commissioned and blessed small group leaders. I want a big screen with projected scripture and beautiful pictures. I want a tambourine.

I met Owen afterward and asked him how the youth group went. He said that he liked the Unitarian Universalist theology better, but this delivery was pretty interesting. We knuckle-bumped in agreement.


Leanne said...

I want this too. :(

Kari said...

I want a tambourine, too. I really do.

And teenagers will NEVER knuckle bump me in public. You must REALLY rock. :-)

Lyndi said...

I want to be able to engage our youth and young adults with music. I love creating, leading, teaching and learning music. See one of things we lack in our programming is music that ROCKS your soul, music as a teen that inspires them about life, while stirring up curiosity, and reassuring them of hope, faith and love... oh I could go on and on... hehe