Letters From America So Much To Say

From “Natasha McGill”

Subject Letters From America So Much To Say

Date Sat, September 25, 2004 6:41 pm

To tashmcgill@maxnet.co.nz

Yes, that is a Dave Matthews Band song. Cheesy I know, but … deep down you appreciate the fact that I am a passionate person.. so passionate that I don’t mind y’all knowing my vunerability!

So here I am in crazy Anaheim, in crazy America, surrounded by youthworkers! eeks.

The plane out of NZ got delayed by a couple of hours so things got off to a great start on this little sojourn.. but we arrived in San Francisco and gassed it to Santa Cruz to visit with VIntage Faith church.. pastored by Dan Kimball and a team of great, and I mean, genuinely awesome, feel like you’re talking to Jesus people. We were welcomed with such great hospitality and warmth.. and not to mention the church service itself.

It reminded me of a lot of places I’ve been, but in every experience there’s always felt like there was an element missing in the connection of creativity to community to church. Here at Vintage Faith, it’s natural as breathing to see artists painting the message being spoken, silent prayer corners set up, people sitting with coffee cups in their laps. Some sitting on cushions, some at tables. The sense of God’s creativity taking pride of place and not just creativity for creativity’s sake was really encouraging.. to think.. this can be done. Somehow all the ideas and thoughts and emotions that run rampant in my head and in the body of our community can be brought into the open in outstandingly glorious ways.

The absence of self, the sideways stage, the overwhelming beauty of the all-encompassing images… left me wth a profound sense of peace, and of God’s wondrous romance. It’s marvellous to be this close to every emotion that sits under the weight of busyness and the rush.

So, apart from some great face to face time with Dan, talking about his postmodern journey, Snta Cruz also inroduced me to Josh Fox. He’s the music pastor at Vintage, who’s incredibly humble and real. We’re trying to convince him to come on out and visit for a while.

We visited the Boardwalk at Santa Cruz and that was choice as, incredibly old rollercoasters and carousels. Then we took the Pacific Coast Highway down to LA… mint.

I went off wandering by myself from Anaheim to Newport Beach, then Long Beach. Cool, just to be immersed, travel through some of the poverty and see the influence of America on Mexican culture and vice-versa. Meeting interesting people wherever I go, and enjoying the ride.

Yesterday and today has been critical concerns courses with Rob Bell, a teaching pastor from Michigan. Challenging stuff, and there are lots of things that I have been wanting to explore and action in my life and in the lives of my community that I am encouraged to do now.

I gotta jett.. so all the exciting deep parts that you were hanging out for will have to wait til the next installment. Hopefully tomorrow sometime.

God is with me, and present all around.

He is also present where you are, working amongst you and I.

May your eyes be opened to see Him. Read yourself Colossians 2.

Grace and Peace.