Sunday, August 7, 2016


I sang 606 this morning.

Funny thing about 606 — something Mennonites know, but you might not — is that 606 isn’t actually even 606 in the hymnal anymore. Oh, it was a long time ago. These days, it’s No. 118. However. Mennonites like their traditions, and even though 606 hasn’t been 606 for ages, it’s still known as 606. The hymnal even makes a concession to this in the index. Next to the song’s title, in parentheses, it helpfully explains that name and location aside, this is the 606 you’re looking for.

This is 606. The doxology.

Now. It’s been a few years since I was officially Christian. I sometimes describe myself as “lapsed Mennonite,” but that’s kind of a half-assed way of maintaining connection to the faith. I’m agnostic, if I’m honest. But in kind of a half-assed way.

But damn, that’s some beautiful hymn singing. The congregation I sang with this morning was just a fraction the size of the one in this video, but they gave it their all. I suspect all it takes is two Mennonites gathered together — four, at most — to get a really rousing rendition of this song going.

So yeah. I went to church this morning, my first Sunday back in Lawrence after eight years away. And yeah, we sang 606. And yeah, I might’ve gotten a little teary-eyed.

And yeah, I suspect there’s a metaphor there for my return to Kansas. I just haven’t figured it out yet. I’m still a touch bewildered about how to define myself now. Long story.

But I found myself in Lawrence once before. Maybe it can happen again.

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