Church Mouse: First Lutheran Red Wing balcony

First Lutheran Church, Red Wing, is back with in-person worship. Kate Josephson / Contributor

I decided it was time.

After agonizing over which earrings to wear and being encouraged by finding usable lipstick in the drawer, I headed off to church. 

My recently laundered chosen outfit had until a few days ago literally been gathering dust in the bathroom. I had a tube of hand sanitizer in my pocket and a bright colored mask on my wrist — my ensemble really needed a pop of color anyway. The owner of the shop where I’d purchased my kinda fancy top didn’t turn quite far enough around during the waving of the peace or she might’ve recognized an item formerly from her whimsical collection.

Leaving home for First Lutheran in Red Wing, I told my husband I might slip out before communion. However, then I got to pick up one of those little sealed cups of grape juice I’d heard so much about along with the last wafer. The nice usher had hurried off to get me a bulletin. (I could’ve called it up on my phone, but I like paper.)

A resonant male voice had just started singing a prelude as I made my way to the very back of the balcony I knew to be spacious.

Others sang. I sang. The words were up on the big screen. I did not sing as loudly as I might have and I could imagine a choir director scolding me for not enunciating and projecting. I was more humming, really, most of the time with the bulletin to the side of my face closest to other worshippers in attendance several pews down and on the other edge of the row.

I appreciated Pastor Arte’s droll comment about “where else can you sing ‘which wert and art,’ …” and evermore shall be.

I also appreciated comments during announcements about how your living room is part of all creation, too — particularly given the less than ideal camping conditions.

Prayers included those suffering from post-traumatic stress; names listed were read by the congregation with strength and reverence.

The sermon and sending emphasized being included in the family of God with all its loving acceptance, generated by the dynamics of the holy trinity — which evermore shall be.

Kate Josephson worked as a church secretary in Red Wing. She seeks out religious experiences wherever she goes.

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