Almost halfway through and it was pretty much as-per-usual. The leader's intro, the 'shake-hands-and-say-hello' time, a child baptism, a prayer and some worship. Then up came Hebrews 10:24-25 on the screen.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I wasn't ready for what came next.
A person said how the church felt like family, and that (to the mother of the baptised child) anything they needed .. "just ask". Another person shared his struggle with drug withdrawal symptoms - and that prayer was a powerful release from the craving. The seemingly-unaccompanied mother thanked a couple for supporting her through recent times, saying she wouldn't have made it through without them.
As much as I wasn't expecting all that - and was far from ready to contribute myself - I had massive respect for the people who did, and for the person who came up with the idea. It was incredibly authentic, deeply touching, completely biblical - ad unscripted. Not the sort of thing you normally get in church.
I'd seen those bible verses many times, but usually as a tool for goading irregular church attenders to continue attending. Somehow by concentrating on the "meeting together" bit, we missed the "spur one another on" bit, the "love and good deeds" and "encouraging one another".
It was inspiring to see those words being put into action. On reflection, it was a little disheartening that seeing a church follow through on biblical values was such a surprise.