This Sunday at Westside King’s Church is Launch Sunday, the day we kick-off our ministry year. We think of “launch” as both a look ahead and a celebration of our community. It is a very happy day, one of the happiest in our life together. This Sunday is also September 11, perhaps the most infamous date in our calendar. However you remember that day ten years ago -- and there are numerous aspects to consider -- we have all marked that moment in our memories. I remember it as the day when our frantic pace screeched to a literal stop.
I happened to have a late morning dentist appointment that day, and for some reason I kept the appointment. The dentist office was eerily quiet as I walked in. I came to realize that the world was shutting down, at least for a while. I sat in my dentist’s chair for two hours that day, with my dentist only taking a cursory look at my teeth. We watched the ceiling TV, hardly believing what we were seeing, the world changing before us. Considering that my dentist and I knew each other in only the most casual way, our conversation took on a surprising depth. It was almost like one of those proverbial scenes of getting stuck on an elevator: the moment freezes time. Who we are, what life is about -- everything suddenly vivid. As we watched the scene unfold on the TV, my dentist said that he needed to reconnect with his faith and his father. I felt like I was on holy ground.
Every time I go to see him (I still have the same dentist) we seem to have this bond, a bond that began on September 11. On my next appointment I will remind him of that day. As the years go by that memory fades a little.
Consider this thought: while September 11, 2001 marked a great tragedy, it also marked for us the opportunity to be different than we had been, the freedom to connect with each other in meaningful ways, the space to slow down and be together. A lot of us remember September 11 that way. I may never have a two hour visit with my dentist again (and for ordinary reasons, I hope not), but that two-hour dentist appointment marked for me the possibility that life can be experienced differently. It was (paradoxically) one of the most meaningful moments of my life. I think for him as well.
Lets make this Sunday great. As we launch into our fall season, let’s celebrate the joy of being part of each other’s lives. We invite you to join us for one of our launch celebrations this Sunday, and mark the moment. And then stay for a while. Our community-wide chicken and ribs BBQ takes place following the second celebration.
Free tickets are available. Bring your lawn chairs and deserts. Look for fun events for your kids. The weather man promises a great day. All we have to do is show up and be present to each other. That’s how we mark the moment.