This is Big!

A couple of months ago, we held a Worship Coffeehouse night at Gospel Light. We were visited by the daughter of Pastor Winston of our own daughter church, Beacon of Light in Waterbury. She had brought a group of women, and asked if they could sing. Of course we said "yes!" and they really blessed us with song.

They told us that they got together once a month and had a special service, and invited us to come and play. Schedules conflicted, and it didn't happen, but we kept getting asked, and finally got everything together to go this past Sunday. We had thought that we would have to travel to Waterbury, but as it happened, it was to be held a couple of blocks away from the church at the Cardinal Sheehan Center, a community center that mainly services inner-city kids with educational and sports programs. We expected that they were using a room at the center, and showed up expecting a small service with twenty or so people.

So when we got there, we were quite surprised to see about three hundred people gathered around the outside of the building. Thinking that there must be multiple events happening, we asked and were directed right into the thick of things. Turns out that the center runs a very popular summer basketball league for high-school students, and Sunday was the torunament at the end of the season. The ministry had chosen this event to host a Gospel festival of sorts.

Now, this was not our normal type of venue. We do plenty of street meetings and public outreaches, but this was much different. This was not dragging the equipment out to the park and having a service; these were largely unchurched people, underpriviledged kids, gang kids, street kids... in other words, the very people we really should be ministering to.

There was a stage set up on one end of the outdoor basketball courts, and the sound guys were busy finalizing the setup. Right away they came over to us. "What do you need?" they asked, treating us very well. We quickly set up the amps and guitars, helped them to get the house drum kit finished, and basically got ready to play.

I'll be honest, we have some youth in the worship team, and they were a bit nervous about this whole thing. This was a lot of people, and not the usual church-friendly or church-indifferent crowd. It was a contained area, and these people would be hearing us. We quickly dumped our intended set and regrouped, choosing a selection of more contemporary-gospel songs than we were planning to play. Soundcheck and off we go.

It was great! It was loud and the kids sang perfectly! A few of the people came up to the front of the stage to watch us. I saw people singing along with "You Are Good." Our singers really got into it, and really took it up to another level. (did you get that pun?)

We hung around for a little while after our set was over. One of the kids commented to me that it didn't seem like a lot of people were listening. I replied that they might not have been listening, but they couldn't help but be hearing. And that might just be enough.

Click on any of the pictures to bigificate. More pictures are here.


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