As they file into the Fellowship Hall for the monthly Rejoicing Spirits worship service, people are greeted by name with a heartfelt welcome from Becky Elsbernd, Trinity’s Parish Nurse. From “God welcomes all of you!” to the interactive songs, skits, and prayers, the loyal attendees anticipate this unique type of worship all month long.
“Rejoicing Spirits creates a welcoming environment that allows people to be authentic and vulnerable. It is beautiful to see how the Spirit moves when you embrace people just as they are,” Elsbernd said.
Upon entering the Fellowship Hall, it’s clear that the worship team is eager to lead this unique service. They graciously accept assistance throughout the experience, whether from guest musicians playing musical instruments, singing (and sometimes even dancing) from the crowd, or sharing spontaneous prayer requests with the group.
The “regulars” recently shared their enthusiasm for this special time. Seeing old friends, participating in the sing-alongs, and making new friends are some of the benefits of attending Rejoicing Spirits.
Rich Murray, retired chaplain from OneVision, helped the group from the beginning, learning from Elsbernd and sharing his talents of playing the guitar, singing, and sharing the Gospel. He said the emphasis of Rejoicing Spirits is one of welcoming everyone. “It’s not a passive worship experience!” he shared. The primary purpose is not to be segregated, but to be inclusive. As he looked around, Murray said the target group consisted of only 1/3 of those in attendance, as there were people from 5 OneVision homes, their staff, a mom and her two adorable little girls, confirmation kids, and volunteers from Trinity. Diversity and inclusivity at their best!
Kathy Ntali is one of the staff members who bring members of Pierce Home (from OneVision) every month. “The same group comes every time,” she said. “They love coming here!” The women at her table shared their favorite parts of Rejoicing Spirits: for Jill, it’s the pizza after the service; for Kris, it’s the singing; and for Bonnie, it’s playing the instruments. There is certainly something for everyone. “It’s very uplifting!” Ntali said.
Another regular member, Matt, shared that he watched a DVD of Rejoicing Spirits and initially talked to the OneVision pastor about attending. Now he even helps up front with the worship team! He enjoys that so many from OneVision come each month.
Judging by the smiles and heartfelt conversations shared with the group, Rejoicing Spirits touches people and makes a difference in their lives.
All are certainly welcome here!†