London Chronicles #25: The American Church in London
The pastor of the American Church in London used to be part of our home church and that’s how we were invited to London to sing for the Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. As part of the package, we also got to sing and help lead worship at the American Church in London the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Their sanctuary is a big open space featuring tall arched windows with tinted glass panes. Each window sill was decorated with a white orchid and candles.
As we arrived Sunday morning, the worship leader (who was also the choir director/composer for the St. Paul’s service) threw a packet of songs at us for Congregational singing – a few hymns, a few choruses, and a song we didn’t know. We ran through everything, and with a healthy dose of faith, lead the service. Our organist opened the service with a beautiful prelude and we sang an arrangement of Psalm 118 as a call to worship. My take away from the sermon was the thought that we are chosen by God because God chose us- not because of anything we have done.
The result of him choosing us is that we are to be a blessing to others. John 15:16 says “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruitfruit that will last.”
After singing a few more songs, we closed the service with the same benediction that brought tears to my eyes the first Sunday at GPC: “You go nowhere by accident! Wherever we go, God is sending us. Wherever we are, God has put us there. He has a purpose in our being there. Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you where you are. Believe this, and go in His grace and love and power.”
This brought everything full circle for me and I started to think about what God’s purpose was for me in London. While this may be a question that has many answers and continues to evolve, I came up with the following:
Being in London
-broadened my perspective on the world
-broadened my understanding of God and his effects over geography and time
-gave me perspective on my own life, showing me more of what is possible
-strengthened my ties to wonderful people