a couple of weeks ago, my friend ricci dropped me an e-mail to see if i'd heard about something that she knew would be very interesting to the teen.
apparently, the jonas brothers had been tapped to be a special musical guest at the easter sunday service for saddleback church - and tickets were free. the catch? they were only available to members of the [gigantic] church. i put out the call for help via facebook and twitter, and then let the hub in on the news to see if maybe he might have any co-workers who could help out.
i may have mentioned it before, but the teen was not raised with any sort of religious background. we baptized her out of a sense of obligation to my family, but never attended any church services beyond that. her father was an outspoken atheist (and didn't attend the baptism), and always refused to consider any other point of view. and so, to avoid arguments over the subject, i just buried my own faith deep down and tried to forget all about it.
of course, that all changed when i met the now-hub. and with the teen still at an age back then to listen and learn, i was hopeful that exposing her to a bit of religion would open her mind and heart to the possibilities of incorporating some faith into her life. unfortunately, her dad was relentless in railing against the entire idea, and so to this day, she doesn't believe in any of it.
although i did ask her teasingly "if nick jonas started a church, would you join?" and there was no hesitation in her positive response. heh. so i knew that with the promise of a JB appearance, she would be more than happy to get up and drive down to anaheim to sit through a church service early sunday morning.
and thanks to ricci, that's just what we did. she'd gotten a handful of tickets from a friend, found that she had two extras - and offered them to us. whee! i was so excited to tell the teen, and she was [predictably] totally stoked.
with 17,000 tickets "selling out" within hours, i was surprised at the ease in getting down to the stadium and finding a parking spot. we even parked next to one of the exits, thinking that would make it easier for us to get out when it was over. and while it was chilly at first, the skies cleared up, the sun came out, and it was a beautiful day at angelA stadium. tee hee!
we were seated out in left field, but we had seats down on row A!
we sat down to check out the program and the bags we'd been handed as we entered, and accepted some coupons for chik-fil-A from a passing usher.
it was an interesting mix of baseball-related signs and religious sentiments.
i pointed out into the field - "bet you that piano's for nick," i said. and as the teen peered out excitedly, a voice came booming from the loudspeaker: "let's play a little jonas brothers trivia while we wait!" of course, this resulted in a smattering of cheering and applause from the ticketholders who were most definitely not there for rick warren.
and then he came out to start the service. i realize that a lot of you aren't fans of the man and his political views, but i gotta say - he really delivered an interesting sermon that i was happy to listen to.
they also had another musical guest present. i'd never heard of kari jobe, as i'm not really into christian music, but she had a lovely voice.
as the sermon came to an end, the excitement in the stadium was damn near visible as these folks trotted out to set up three microphone stands:
and event security strolled out to take their places.
then without any flashy entrances, fireworks, skywriting - the boys made their way out onto the field.
we were a little bummed that this was our view for the majority of their performance:
but it was okay. the cameras gave us a better view, projected onto the giant screens, and the teen was just excited to be there in their presence. i was surprised to note that instead of playing religious music as i'd thought they would (and warned the teen of the possibility), they instead played a few of their own [carefully selected] songs. and as we listened, we were struck by the fact that the lyrics, which we knew backwards and forwards and sang along to all the time, were actually quite fitting in a religious environment. it was really interesting to listen closely to the words and realize that they could actually have been originally written as songs of faith. of course, knowing that the brothers share a deep faith with the rest of their family and the fact that their father was a pastor, this wasn't too much of a surprise.
the teen's number one man, nick, took his place as expected at the piano and told an abbreviated version of his diabetes story. he spoke of his faith and his commitment to hold on to it through his ordeal and then his day-to-day struggle with the disease, and the teen whispered "i never get tired of listening to this." heh.
they played three songs, and then it was over.
and we were outta there.
there had also been a service the previous day, during which they performed baptism ceremonies for over 200 people. pretty impressive. and they were still set up for more that day, although i had to wonder if anyone would do it, all gussied up in their easter sunday best.
we found the car quite easily, but realized that instead of an easy exit, we were surrounded on all sides by folks trying to make their way out of there. dang.
so we settled in to wait it out, listening to (what else?) jonas brothers CDs, munching on the snacks we'd picked up on the way out, and peoplewatching.
after about half an hour, the coast was somewhat clear and we finally exited the parking lot.
it was quite a happy easter for the teen. and we decided that since we had tickets that actually said "jonas brothers" on them, we're totally going to count this in our ever-increasing show count. oh, yeah.