Today has been a day for being with family - church family. The family group (like a housegroup, but subtly different) had a barbecue this lunchtime in a home, followed by the church getting together to baptise.
We started off in a school hall that we've never used before, with some of the most 'interesting' acoustics I've ever come across in a building. We only had time to sing 2 songs, and I really struggled to push through into worship, knowing that was all we had. I was playing and leading sans PA and found it really hard to hear what was going on, while trying to guide people through the 'power of mime'. There were also a lot of people from outside the church present, and that added to the tension. God was gracious though, and I could see and feel many people were entering God's presence, despite my struggle.
The girls being baptised then went forward and talked about how God was at work in their lives and what had brought them to that point. Then each was sent to a separate part of the room, and those that had words or prayers for them went with them. God was again gracious to me and gave me words for 2 of them. While delivering the second word, about half way through I just felt the Spirit touch something inside and nearly broke down, having to pause for a minute before continuing.
We then broke up and walked the half mile or so the house of one of our members, who has a small swimming pool in their garden. It was a lovely warm late summer's afternoon, and not at all the wet and windy time that had been forecast. The Girls were baptised in the pool by one of the elders (Steve's just turned 30 ;-) and either a parent or special friend. After emerging from the water, a piece of music that was specially meaningful to them was played (the only one I recognised was 'come, now is the time to worship' chosen by Olivia). Then we all ate together, everyone contributing to the food and drink, and enjoyed each other's company.
My camera deigned to keep it's memory this time, and there's another gallery if you want to see what we all look like. The camera is anything but wonderful, but there is a 'representative likeness' to the images.