It was Worth the Wait!

by Dan Bracken, Communications Director

The great eclipse of 2024 has come and gone.

Was it what you expected?

It was a perfect day to be outside. The Ginghamsburg staff and several volunteers spent the morning preparing to receive eclipse travelers from out of town. Phat & Rich and Eloquence Catering provided the grub, Fox & Feather provided the t-shirts and our own Common Grounds Café provided snacks and beverages. With filtered glasses generously provided by the Duke Foundation, a 3 minute and 22 second celestial event became a 7 hour marathon of friendly conversation and fellowship.

"We live North of Cincinnati, so we were going to pop up to Moraine," one visitor told me, "but when we realized we were only getting :58 seconds of totality, we decided to trek farther up I-75. We started googling and that's how we got here." After discussing photography filters, she continued, "this whole day has been perfect. My family and I are so happy to be here."

Several made the trip from Cincinnati. Even a multi-car caravan from Crossroads Church made its way to our parking lot. I also met a couple from Lexington, which meant I got to commiserate about the state of Kentucky Basketball.

We did not get the crowds we were expecting. Why? My theory is because the weather was just as nice in Indianapolis. Had it been nice here and crappy there, we would've been the most convenient spot for our neighbors in Indy to land. We didn't get them, but we were ready! I'm glad we took the risk. How did we do? Our investment in the day broke even and gave 200+ people a place to relax and wait for the main attraction.

WOW was it worth the wait.

I made the decision months ago to leave my camera behind. Something this rare (and quick) I didn't want to miss because I was fiddling with my aperture settings. But alas, 20 minutes before totality I couldn't help myself. I made some quick creative decisions and made way for the hill on the East side of the Avenue.

As I climbed the hill, I was so excited to see Zach and Mark at the same spot. Zach and Mark are on our facilities team. They're they kind of guys that make it all work from behind the scenes. Most wouldn't know it, but Zach is a fantastic wildlife photographer. And though we're not cousins, Mark and I share a last name. It's hard to explain, but it was just good being with another Bracken.

Knowing Zach was all over the closeup, I chose a wide-angle lens. I was excited about rumors of a 360-degree sunset during totality. Like millions of others, I stared at the sky through filtered glasses as the waning sun turned razor thin. And then the sun disappeared. I removed my glasses, looked up...and cried! I didn't know what else to do. It was just so stinking beautiful. Mark just kept saying, "wow. Wow. WOW. wooow," and Zach was in nature photography heaven. I simply snapped a picture of our church in the dark, in the middle of the day, under a hole in the sky, surrounded by glowing horizon and saturated by our Creator's love.

There's a giant flaming ball of gas out there. And it gives us light. And warmth. And it looks really cool through Zach's camera lens when blocked by the moon.

Zach's photo of the eclipse!

Glory to God!

To my left was a clear view of I-75. Headlights on, cars and trucks drove right on by, seemingly oblivious to what was happening overhead. (Psst...there's a miracle happening in your life right now, and I wonder... have you noticed?)

The whole day reminded me that the fabric of community is mended in wonder. The "hows" can tear us apart, but the "wows" can pull us together.

This weekend we start a new worship series called "United in a Divided World". After Monday's reminder that the earth is a speck of dust, I've seen enough division. I'm sure you have, too. It's time to surrender to a more excellent way. You can invite others to church with you this Sunday by using these digital invites.

The Living City Project is our next opportunity to come together. Teams that serve together stay together! As we pursue unity among believers, join team Jesus on Saturday, April 20 and let's pick up tons of trash.

The more we focus our attention on the wonders of God, the less craving we have for destruction. We build, we don't destroy. We shine, we don't hide. We marvel, we don't scoff. We cry when things are beautiful. We find home when we come together.

We love Jesus and we do something about it.

Dan Bracken

Communications Director


Blitz returns Friday, April 19!

Friday, April 19, 6:30-9pm, Tipp City Campus Avenue // Cost $7

The biggest and best party for kids in grade 3-5 returns next week! Kids are encouraged to bring their friends and dress up as their favorite celebrity (like Taylor Swift or LeBron James). Hang out with friends, jump on inflatables, play gaga ball & basketball, eat yummy snacks, and dance the night away! 

This is an electronics-free event (leave the cell phones at home!). This is also a drop-off event; parents check kids in upon arrival. Only Ginghamsburg-trained & background-checked adults may stay. Cost is $7 and includes dinner. Bring extra money for soda and candy! Pay online OR at the door. Sign up today! This is the last Blitz! of the school year.

You can register your kiddo (and their friends!) right here.


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