July 22nd was a busy Sunday. It began with Family Sunday or “Daddy Sunday” as apparently my kiddos have begun calling it. Sunday where I sit in the pews with my kids (or at least the older two when the boy is in the nursery with his buddies). We heard the proclamation of the gospel, sang hymns of the faith, received the Eucharist, worked on sermon notes (seriously, who does this in the summer but apparently Trinity Lutheran Church does), and enjoyed worship together.
Then we took a time for rest (the preacher, Matthew Paul Schroeder told us we should). The oldest headed up to Briarwood Retreat Center for a week of overnight camp. The middle kid wants to go to overnight but is still a year young. She will go to “Base Camp” day camp this week at Briarwood. But she still wanted to be there to cheer sissy on.
Later we went to check in at Kyrie Fort Worth pub church. This ministry which I along with Pastor Phil Heinz (Calvary, Richland Hills) helped get going back almost 8 years ago began at Mambo’s Cantina on Houston Street in Downtown Cowtown. Supported by Calvary, Richland Hills and Trinity, Fort Worth these many years it has moved to the Magnolia area and has been at the corner of Magnolia and College in Fort Worth now for almost 6 years. Many folks have and continue to help make this ministry go over the years. Former NT-NL pastor Ethan Beiler served Kyrie for a time. And in addition to Phil, myself, Pastor Kendra Mohn (Trinity, Fort Worth), Pastor Matt Schroeder (Trinity, Fort Worth), and Pastor Kyle Rouze (Calvary, Richland Hills), various interns, including Calvary’s current intern Molly Eversoll, and pastors including currently Pastor Kristen Klade (Cook Children’s Hospital, member St. Matthews, Fort Worth) have helped lead the worship and preside over the eucharist in this unique setting. The bar has changed hands many times and now is looking to expand which means we need to find a new place. So I wanted to check in and show support for this community.
This is the longest running public worship (i.e. worship in a completely open and public place during regular business hours) that I am aware of around the country. Every week now the community has gathered to worship. Preachers have occasionally been heckled (ask my wife), Christmas carols have been sung to candlelight, through thick and, especially at the beginning, thin crowds, it has continued. One of our NT-NL Synod, ELCA candidates, Laura Slezak, preached today on the gospel text and as always we shared the Eucharist and the key ingredient to Kyrie, the peace.
Christ gathers us into community in bars, churches, and camps across the world. This morning my parents, visiting my brother Umid Azimov and his family in Uzbekistan, worshiped with the only Lutheran church in Uzbekistan. A German/Russian speaking congregation in the capital city of Tashkent. The sheep are often scattered, but the good shepherd calls us home wherever we find ourselves.
An early wakeup call tomorrow to get the little to Trinity Lutheran Children’s Center and then the middle kid to Base Camp. Blessed to participate in the many ways NT-NL communities are forming leaders for the church. #NTNL #KyriePubChurchFortWorth #Briarwood #TLCFW #InMissionTogether