This is one of the things I really love about my church, Gateway Community Church.

We’re in a series called “Dialed In: Conversations with the World.” Actually, it’s a series about other world religions. I’m sure many people would ask, why would you devote an entire series to other religions? Isn’t that something you’d teach in a small group or special extra-curricular class? Yeah, I think we actually do that as well. But you may not know our audience. Although Texas is a good ‘ol conservative/right-winged/republican state, Austin is not. Austin is an odd city with a weird vibe. It’s definitely Texas to the core, but with a liberal twist. A significant number of our church came to Christ at Gateway and a significant number of those who came to Christ were not your “grew up in the church but never made a decision” type of people. There are many people sitting in our audience every week wondering if this route is any different or better than the alternatives.

So, this last weekend was supposed to be about Hinudism and Buddhism. I think that both a Hindu and a Buddhist were either going to be interviewed or maybe it was just an expert in these religions. Unfortunately, our pastor, John Burke, called in sick. It was the first time in the 10 years of Gateway. Becasue he was out, we watched a video of a message recorded a few years ago that tied into the message from last week. It was still very good.

But what was really cool was the worship set. There was a very small set of standard instruments. Added to this was a little Indian (No, I don’t mean Native American) band. One guy was playing a very tribal looking set of hand drums. Another guy was playing the Sitar and another guy playing a Veena (I’m pretty sure). How cool is this? And these were not some local musicians who are versed in all kinds of instruments. These guys looked like the real deal. What a great experience. Totally Austin.

Excuse the quality of my photos. I was sitting at the very back and the room was dark.

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