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My First Day at FPCH

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Jul 27 in Musings
By Maddie Mitchellweiler
My first day of work started with a funeral. I arrived at FPCH chipper and ready to get started as the Young Adult Ministries Intern. Proudly pulling in to the staff lot, I noticed the other lots were full, but didn’t think much of it, knowing there were always all kinds of events going on around campus. I trekked up the stairs to meet with Pastor Joel and we talked eagerly, discussing vision and praying through how God might be breathing new life into our College/20s group. The future was bright, God’s presence and delight bubbled over in abundance. 
Today was a happy day.
Realizing it was my first day on campus outside of interviews and services, Joel offered to give me a tour. I popped up, excited to see more of this campus I was coming to love. Our first stop was the sanctuary balcony, easily accessed from the second floor. Skipping a step, Joel and I walked up to the doors, but just before we burst in a sound from within slowed us both. A male voice, sharing a mournful lament of a loved one lost. “It must be a funeral,” Joel whispered, “We’ll go the other way.”
On the other side of those doors, today was a heavy day.
We continued on with the tour, returning to conversations about what was ahead. But I couldn’t shake the sobriety of that moment. The dichotomous juxtaposition of two very different sorts of days happening in the same space of FPCH. As I drove home that evening, I started thinking about the God who holds all sorts of days. I prayed and reflected on His heart -  He had been as much present in that office with me and Joel dreaming as He was present in the sanctuary with our brothers and sisters grieving. And those were only two sorts of days happening in one small corner on Carlos and Gower.  All around us, on the streets of Hollywood, in the offices of high rises, behind the counters of walk-up restaurants, in auditions and recording rooms, God’s people were having all sorts of days. And God was present with them all, working in them all, beckoning to them all.
This was a humbling first day of work here at the church. It is a memory I’ve come back to time and again as I’ve navigated ministry here, to young and old, sick and well, rich and poor. Here we all are. Having all sorts of days. All sorts of lives. And here God is, meeting each of us, uniting all of us. May the world know that we are God’s faithful by the way we love each other, by the ways we gather together, in all the sorts of who we are, through all the sorts of days. 
 Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord,
one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:3-6

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