Reflection from Friday Church by Fred Bogert

Last week at Friday Church, we mixed four black gospel singers, together known as “Zion’s Best,” with the Friday Church band members in attendance that night. Short run-through, handshakes and hugs, prayer, deep breath, and then—dive off the cliff together to provide the sonic landscape for a worship service.

It was incredible. Not because it was well crafted (and it really was), but because it was raw, each moment so potentially uncertain that everyone in the room felt the joy in those moments of discovery, openness and vulnerability. The congregation added their voices and enthusiasm as the time flew by, with Jim’s sermon anchoring our energy with biblical truth and personal wisdom.

It took courage for “Zion’s Best” to join us so spontaneously. Seems to me it was our common faith that led us all to trust being vulnerable together. As it says in the hymn—“what a fellowship, what a joy divine,” we share when we open our hearts and actions to the leadership of Christ. During our time of “daring greatly to be in the arena” together, our walls of isolation evaporate, replaced by God’s courage-building power—love without condition. It’s the kind of courage that folks in recovery come to understand, too!

Authenticity, creativity, spiritual awakening—these are becoming the rewards of our progress together. Thanks to the staff of Highland for choosing “courage” as our touchstone in these adventurous times. What a season! What a church! What a God!