Ever since I left Trinity Vineyard I have been searching for a new place to call "home". Zack has, too. The reasons that we stopped going are too long to explain here (one day I shall) but let's just say for now that it was to prevent potential awkwardness and ill-will.
Nevertheless to leave a place that I had helped to START was hard. And painful. I lost a lot of friends and people I considered family. Thus the feeling of homelessness when it came to trying to find a spiritual community and a place where life could be walked out with a group of people who know me well.
Zack and I have both struggled with finding this place. We've visited several churches, Buckhead Church being the one place we would go to most often, because of my involvement with their music department. I have been "hired" several times to close out their service with music and, by default, have beome friends with the staff at Buckhead like Carlos and Rachel. And I love them there. But Zack and I really don't feel called there at all.
I also have to mention that it was because of Buckhead Church and my playing there that led Scott and Jenny Runkel, a couple who are quickly becoming Zack and I's favourite people in the world, to buy my CD in the church bookstore; for Jenny to call out to me on the escalator that she liked my music; and then running into them in the parking garage one Sunday, that, in an indirect way, has led to this post.
Did that make sense at all?
We had dinner with Scott and Jenny the other night and were talking about the need to find community and how we don't feel connected or called to Buckhead. Scott and Jenny feel the same way and Scott told us of a pastor he met at a Wovenhand concert (David Eugene Edwards of previous 16 Horsepower fame, I was at that show too!) and how this fellow, also named Scott, was starting a church on the Eastside. We checked out the website and, this morning, did the thing that so many others do every Sunday. We showed up as visitors.
Immediately when we entered I felt at home. It was familiar in a strange way and there was the palpable sense of LIFE and joy. They don't have their own building, they meet in the community center of Studioplex (ironically Zack's 1st studio was in Studioplex a few years ago) and have the classic church plant feel of the set up chairs, small sound system, slight disarray, etc. Everything that feels normal to me having been a part of a few church plants now!
Scott Armstrong, the pastor, gave a great sermon on beauty, touching on a subject that I feel quite passionately about but I have to say, that the thing that was the most amazing about this morning was that Zack and I both felt peace and the presence of the Lord. It's been a long time. To take communion, to worship with people who were singing from their hearts, to hear the sound of babies fussing in the back... I dunno. It was just...refreshing.
Zack and I spoke to Scott afterwards and he thanked us for coming and asked if we could have coffee sometime this week. That was encouraging. We have a lot of questions for him and, Zack and I agree, we need to tell him our story and where we come from and all that.
I know that this blog doesn't make a lot of sense but I am just so thrilled that the potential of finally having a "home" is a very real possibility. It's a new sensation for me to be the visitor. I was raised in the Atlanta Vineyard and then got involved with VSN that became Trinity. I never had deal with this. It gives me a new appreciation for what it's like to walk into a place for the first time.
I'm thankful for today. I'm thankful for new beginnings. I'm thankful for so much.
Here's hoping this is the start of a VERY long chapter of our life. Or, dare I say, a whole 'nother book.