Having lost two gigs to the Great Canadian Smoke Out this week, it was good to have my annual folk service at Christ Lutheran in Hellertown to get me back on track. I’m asked to help kick off their summer musical series with a family-themed service. Usually, there are only a few kids in attendance (which led me to tailor my material to more adult songs), but today was an anomaly , with kids and parents coming from the day-care in house at the church. I went back out to my car and brought in my bag of scarves, just in case.

The sermon’s theme was reaching out to unexpected people in the community (tax collectors, etc.). So I picked several songs that would emphasize that. I started with A Place in the Choir and then, for the opening anthem, John Gorka’s Branching Out. As folks sang, I supplied the hand motions. With the words on the screen above me, the congregation did fine.

The youth pastor had introduced himself to me before hand and during his presentation used several quotes from my Lessons From Pete. That was gratifying. He sang a song on Uke and paraded the kids around the venue. Nice job.

After the sermon, I brought out John’s Good Noise and invited the kids and their parents to come up and dance with the scarves. It was quite the sight, and made for a wonderful spectacle for the rest of the congregation. We did Get Together as a closing hymn and I finished with the Carter Family’s Gospel Ship as folks recessed.

Folks came up to me afterwards and thanked me. It seems that this one is getting more popular with the general congregation, and I find this wooden room a delight to play in, and I’m comfortable enough to be able to toss in my usual asides to keep things loose.

It was a good gig, and I took advantage of the pot luck afterwards.