St.Mary's Parish West Lorne, Ontario
On December 18, 1885, then Bishop Walsh of the Diocese of London blessed the newly built St. Mary's Church in west Lorne Ontario. On December 19, 2010, Bishop Ronald Peter Fabbro, the current Bishop of the Diocese of London presided at a celebration of 125 years of continued ministry for this parish.
I saw St.Mary's yesterday for the first time in my 60 years, as my friend and prayer partner, Wayne Zimmer was asked to bring some musicians with him to lead the worship. Wayne is an excellent worship leader, and does so under the anointing of God. Together with Dave Rector, Yolie, and Brian Benoot, Wayne led the congregation musically. Me, I tagged along, and ran the projector, and I must say did so masterfully.
It was a beautiful mass and celebration, with a pot luck lunch after in the hall.
The Bishop, preaching on the readings of the 4th Sunday of Advent, spoke of Joseph and his obedience to the dream he had, in which an angel told him who was in Mary's womb. He contrasted this with Ahaz in the first reading, who refused, even when prompted by the prophet Isaiah, to ask God for a sign. The Bishop spoke of Ahaz being stubborn, while Joseph was submissive, and so for Joseph, the vision that God had came to life. Not so for Ahaz. He asked us if we would be prepared to see the signs and let God's vision for our lives be the vision that we follow.
I did see one sign after Mass that inspired me. After Mass was over, the congregation knelt to pray for e few moments before exiting, and Wayne and the worship group continued to play a few songs. A young woman, who just completed high school last Spring, Rebekah, was standing in front of the group, waiting for us to pack up, as she planned to practice some songs for Christmas. She did ask if she could sing with my friends, and Wayne asked her what she would like to sing. She asked if they knew "Here I Am to Worship." They immediately pulled out the music and she stepped up to the microphone and joined in. I sang along as well, at least for a while. Her voice meshed with everyone else's and it was very enjoyable until the chorus.
As soon as the chorus began, it was like heaven opened up. I was standing in front of Rebekah, and watched as she poured her heart and soul into the song, looking up to heaven, and worshiping Our Lord and Saviour. I could not open my mouth, largely as tears started to well up in my eyes. It was absolutely beautiful. This precious young woman led us in a few minutes of beautiful worship. What a treat it was.
Sadly, it came to an end, though it will live on in my mind for some time to come.
Wayne and the group have been invited to come back from time to time to do music at a Mass, and Rebekah has asked to sing along with them. I hope to get an opportunity to hear that.
Here is a Hillsong version of the song Rebekah sang with us, Here I Am to Worship.