It's early. We couldn't figure out the alarm clock in the room. Weird.
Matt Stowell, Andi Rozier and I have flown out to Gaithersburg (a German word, meaning "Fortress of the Gaithers") to visit Covenant Life Church and attend the worships conference.
The story starts with the tollway to the airport being ENTIRELY CLOSED after a semitruck overturned and debris covered all three eastbound lanes. Fearless courier Josh Eckburg (a German name, meaning "Fortress of Eck") curried us through with bravery and skill, and we arrived safely. The flight was uneventful -- thank you AA (meaning American Airlines). The drive to hotel had the normal Mapquest fun. Has Mapquest ever asked you to make a U-turn before? We registered and came to session #1.
If you've never been to Covenant Life, you *have* to come. The building is just as you'd expect - functional, clean and beautiful without being ornate or gaudy. Their worship center has basketball hoops over the back seats -- a tribute the athletic nature of their founding pastor, I'm sure. The stage is thrust out (not a theatrical dropped back) but very wide, and nicely decorated with sharp banners, flats, and light globes, (which Josh Harris joked, are "filled with the air of heaven").
The band is piano, synth (Yamaha), sax, bass, electric (Les Paul?) drums in a cage, acoustic guitar, percussionist, worship leader, 2 girl singers with one guy singer. Dressed in khakis and jeans (a big topic of conversation with me recently).
We sang a number of great songs-- hymns and new hymns from Sovereign Grace. They are fantastic, but very interesting. I'll write more as the week goes on.
At HBC, we sometimes get a person who comes to us and says "thanks for singing a hymn this morning -- I really love it. They mean so much to my generation." I wonder if Bob ever gets, you know, Boomers coming up to him saying "Do you think we could sing 'He Is Able - More than Able" this weekend? It means so much to my generation of people."
The contrast between this conference and the Willow Arts conference last month is ASTOUNDING. More commentary coming later. Check out www.challies.com for more live blogging.