Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Eve - U2charist at Palmer

Happy New Year!! We started our New Years Eve celebration at church this year. Palmer hosted Houston's first-ever U2charist. According to Wikipedia, a U2charist is "a communion service, or Eucharist, accompanied by U2 songs in lieu of traditional hymns and sometimes as part or all of the service music... The U2charist seeks to raise awareness of the MDGs and call people worldwide to a deeper faith and engagement with God's mission."

It was AMAZING and I can't think of a better way to finish up 2008 and ring in 2009. The church was packed with both Palmers and visitors - the U2charist had been in an article in the Houston Chronicle earlier in the week.

We had agreed to be ushers for the U2charist. Will ended up not making it at all, but Olivia and McIver did a great job of handing out "Jesus Rocks 12.31.08" buttons, bulletins and earplugs.
It took Olivia a little while, but she finally started having fun. This is Jeff, a friend and Palmer, so he was a familiar face for her to welcome.

McIver was a bit aggressive in his passing out of buttons and earplugs. We had to keep reminding him not to stand in the middle of the narthex because there was quite a traffic jam.
Really, the church was packed! It felt as crowded to me as it did at the Family Service on Christmas Eve. There was a 'choir' of high-school/college-aged kids wearing "One" t-shirts and dancing around in the front of the church with the hopes of encouraging others to join in. Turns out that wasn't necessary. The lyrics, along with photographs and statistics about the Episcopal Church's Millenium Development Goals, were flashed on a huge screen at the front of the church. As soon as the music started, people were on their feet singing and dancing.
Olivia loved helping to usher. Together, we carried the bread up to the altar for eucharist. She also assisted with the collection plate and ushering during communion. She took her job very seriously and I could tell she was proud to be helping. I think it was a night that she will not soon forget!
This was one of the last slides. It just made me smile!
There was a reception on the Patio at Palmer after the service. The weather was great so a lot of folks stayed to enjoy it. We left in a bit of a hurry, though, because they didn't have much kid-friendly food, Olivia was cold and McIver had escaped onto the balcony and was yelling out to the entire patio, "Does anybody want a knuckle sandwich?"
When we got home, Will still wasn't home from the hospital. We put on our pajamas and curled up in front of 4-1 (that's Merritt for The Disney Channel) to ring in the New Year. We watched the countdown on Disney as they showed The Wizards of Waverly Place, which actually is a show that I enjoy. Will came home at some point and went straight to bed. Then, when it was almost 11:00, midnight EST, we flipped to a news channel to watch the ball drop in Times Square. The kids, who were none the wiser, loved it, felt like they saw something special and then we all went to bed.

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