Man… Today was certainly one of those “Im Walking On Sunshine” kinda days.
Woke up and talked with my new friend Raph about his work in the church and the community that he and others are trying to build right now in a state run church environment. It was so encouraging to see people wrestling with the question of what is Church, and how do we reflect Jesus through the church? Those are the questions that need to be asked more often.
The smell of pancakes being made in the kitchen made me run to my guitar and start jamming on one of my favorite songs about food. “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson. Sure enough… There were Bananas sliced and ready to be eaten with the pancakes. So good! Thanks Sarah!
This is where things got all crazy and cool.
The night before a good friend of mine had invited me to a wedding, that he was directing the music for, at around 12 noon. I told him that I would be there to see him, but then soon after realized that I had now wedding clothes whatsoever. So I head on down to this wedding, of two people that I didn’t know, in a collared shirt, khaki shorts, and yes… You probably guessed that I was wearing flip flops too. What else was I supposed to do? It’s all I had! Anyways I went to this wedding way underdressed, but was able to enjoy the uniting of a brother and sister in Christ. From a different culture no less. And it was beautiful. God was well represented in that church through the singing, the speaking, and the attitudes of all parties involved.
While I was watching the wedding I saw a few things that I would want to incorporate into my special day, if ever it comes. The rings were brought down the isle on a bible instead of a pillow. I really like the symbolism there. Also there was a full worship band playing songs between the different parts of the service. Praising God is the center of the wedding. I like that too. The bride and groom sit off to one side and there were no groomsmen and bridesmaids up on stage… I kinda like that too, but I won’t push for the lack of people, instead pushing for the, “Hey we should get a couple chairs and not have to stand the whole time” concept.
After the wedding I was able to see Betti and Stephanie from English camps and meet Lydia, who is a cousin of Cathrin Osterhus, wife of Dave who is a big time leader for the English camps that I worked for back in 2008-2009. It is amazing to see how tight knit this Christian community is here.
Then went to a local restaurant with Tom Gangl, the guy leading the music, and Blaze, whom I had met at Austrian Prayer Congress in 2008. We sat and talked for hours about the state of the church in Austria and about the youth events taking place in the country. It was great to see two passionate guys really looking for ways to impact the youth here in Austria. Tom’s passion was one of the reasons why I came and did English camps here in Austria in the first place. His desire has been to meet the youth where they are in their lives for many many years. I always like to meet with Tom when I come to Vienna. He and his wife Helen are always a joy to be around and now they even have a little guy in the family, Killian, that I was able to meet for the first time when they dropped me off at the Train station. It was cool to see this family growing and serving The Lord through it all.
Then it was time for me to find my way to Reaumannplatz where I was to try and find a party that Flo had invited me to for his work. After walking up and down the street and around the building a couple times I finally found it. It looked like and art exhibit at first and then I realized that this was a specialized Fine arts academy called Deutsche Pop.
I had found out a couple hours earlier that I was actually going to fill in for a performer that had gotten sick. I was prepared. I had been walking around the city With my guitar on my back all day waiting for this moment. I wait for my turn being blown away by the talent that this program has to offer. It was amazing to see the dancers, actors, and singers that were performing before me.
Every place in the world is filled with talent and I’ve been blessed to be able to see just a piece of what the world has offer.
My show consisted of a four song set that included. “Poor Wayfarin Stranger/ Where Home is” “Home” “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Ventura Highway”. I had a blast. It was so good to be able to play a show where I didn’t know anyone and get feedback from them. Whether it was through the claps or kind comments afterwards the people there really seemed to enjoy what I shared. I was able to hand out a few cards and get some information from some of the student there at Deutsche Pop so we can follow each others careers as they take off. I know I was standing in the presence of future actors, singers and songwriters. It is exciting to see where they go from where they are.
Shout out to Christina Mandl, Nikolaas Von Schrader, and Manuela Tymciw for their support. They got a mini concert after the party was all over and we had a great time talking about music and writing music, acting and so much more. One of them actually knew Tom Gangl from church stuff. It was great to see how small the world actually is.
After that I ended up being apart of a “hey we’re tired but we don’t want to go home yet” photo shoot. Flo, Raph, Kathrin, Ruth and I decided to use the dark street we were on to try and get some creative photos. So much fun… It certainly prepared us for the following day that we spent together.
So whether it was a spontaneous wedding celebration, biergarten gathering, or party performance, I can honestly say that this was certainly one of the most spontaneous days of my life.