An amazing experience last night at Union United Methodist's U2charist service.
People started showing up an hour before it started. That's a new one for some of us "alternative service" people.
Sherri Renner asked us twice if we were going to pray before it started. Then she accidently proposed marriage to Jack Inghram. Ahhh, pre-performance jitters, beautiful things!
Bob Morwell started the service with the "Peace On Earth" video, and one by one we went on to see a nearly full church, expectant of great things.
Well. Not sure how we sounded, which of course is besides the point. But Sunday's service is proof that if God decides, it's gonna rock!
From the opening "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" to the last crazy and adrenaline fueled "When Love Comes To Town," Union United rocked. It is so cool to sing songs that people know, or can at least follow. U2's music has audience call-backs in just about every song, and it took no prodding to get people to respond. None!
So. Thank you to Young Devon White on bass, who now has his own groupies to deal with and was trailed by a gaggle of junior high girls all night. Chicks dig bass players, Dee-Von. Now that you are a rock star, you better start dealing with it ....
Thanks to Craig Sparks, a fantastic drummer. I goofed up the intro to one song (Pride, maybe?) and it was no big deal, he just kept us going the whole time. Craig was especially good during the communion instrumental of "Forty".
Thanks to Rev. Wally Carlson, a very good acoustic guitar player with the right attitude. It was very reassuring to have him back there and not worry about screwing up my parts. Far more importantly, I have made a new friend.
Thanks to Sherri Renner on keyboards, the spiritual driving force behind everything we did. She has the voice of an angel too and I hope she continues to play music.
Thanks to Jack Inghram on sax. It doesn't matter what kind of music you play, if you have a good sax player, everybody responds. Sheryl sat in the back and took the whole thing in and said a bunch of "more experienced" women were asking about Jack. Maybe the sax guy might have to start dealing with the groupie thing, too ....
Thanks to Bob Morwell, who had the idea with Wally and put it into motion. They also trusted the burned-out newspaper guy to put the band and music together, not an easy thing to do.
Wally said he knew it was going to be good from the opening chord in the first practice. I knew it would be good, too. But last night was beyond my wildest expectations.
We also raised a bunch of money for the nets for Africa campaign, which provides malaria-carrying mosquito protection. U2 lets churches use their music free of charge as long as it's a worship service and it takes up an offering for the project.
We're talking about other projects and maybe taking this thing to other churches, so stay tuned!