Ba de ya: musings on a chili cook-off

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Fall is in the air, and one sure sign is our church's Chili Cook-off. At Church of the Savior (formerly SBCRC), the cook-off is one of the most highly anticipated meals of the year. We sample wonderful mini-bowls of chili with every conceivable combination of beans, meat and spices. With yummy names like "Sweet Autumn," "Italiano," "Tickle Your Tastebuds," and "4-meat 1-alarm," who can resist trying a little of each? Tantalizing ingredients like fresh tomatoes, sweet potatoes, white beans and kidney beans; bacon, pork, chicken and beef; chili powder, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder...It tasted like a party in my mouth!

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At the same time, I looked around the room and saw a "party in the church." Tables of men and women, boys and girls. Adults, teens, kids and toddlers...mixing and mingling, tasting and testing, partaking and parleying. Much like the best chili, the best "families" are made up of a wide variety of ingredients (i.e. members), each contributing his or her own unique flavor, texture or nutrient. Without each of us and our unique gifts, the "party in the church" wouldn't be the marvelous concoction we so enjoy.

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Tom has had this "Earth, Wind and Fire" song in his head lately, and Leah is playing it in jazz band, so it's come up several times (in song and conversation) in our home this past week. While we were tasting our chili he started in on "Ba de ya..." and I thought what a perfect song it was for tonight. The rain clouds from earlier in the day were being chased away by a forecast of sunshine for the upcoming week. The "souls were singing" in our evening worship service as we witnessed the baptism of young Ian and joined together at the Lord's table. And then we "danced" into the fellowship hall where the "stars" of the chili cook-off "stole the night away." Ba de ya indeed!

And did you notice it just happens to be "the 21st night of September?" Ba de ya!

Okay, true confession...I always thought they were singing "Party On!" Still, that's pretty fitting for a night like tonight.

Do you remember the 21st night of September?

Love was changing the minds of pretenders

While chasing the clouds away

Our hearts were ringing

In the key that our souls were singing.

As we danced in the night,

Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya - say do you remember

Ba de ya - dancing in September

Ba de ya - never was a cloudy day (September by Maurice White; Earth, Wind & Fire)