One day, I (Brooke) was sitting outside with Adam and he mentioned how he wanted to start having people over for worship and fellowship. So, every Sunday evening we would open the doors of our home and we had food and fellowship and a time of worship together. One night then turned into two nights. Thursday’s lovingly became known as “Game Nights” where we would all gather around the table and play games, eat food, and have music. There was always a flow of people, both new and old. Some people came every single week, others popped in when they were in town, and others came because someone told them and invited them. What started as a group chat of about 30 people has grown to include those both near and far.
These fellowship nights began in March of 2020 when so many people were lacking in community (ourselves included) and they continued throughout the summer and well into the fall months. Adam was preparing to go to Honduras at this time and the question came about “What is going to happen when he is gone?” In typical Adam fashion, he had already thought of this and was determined to teach others to play the piano and to sing so that these nights could continue. With a little bit of training and a whole lot of encouragement (mainly Adam teaching others by saying “You have to do this. SING.”), people began to rise up and grow in their love for leading worship. As Christmas rolled around, there were some nights when Adam didn’t lead at all, but rather it was the people who learned to lead that began to take over.
Christmas came and went and the Lord began to provide people who willingly opened their homes so that these worship nights could continue. The Graham family (shout out to Mr. Doug, Mrs. Lisa, Dougie, Calema, David, Leila, Abe, Isaac and Ivan) opened their doors wide to host these evenings with lots of food, laughter and love. Matt Black also opened his doors wide and welcomed the flow of both friends and new faces. I think that's the beauty of faith filled fellowship - it allows you to invite others in because you yourself know that you have been invited into the most beloved family of them all.
I (Brooke) remember sitting and thinking “What gift could we give Adam that he could carry with him wherever he went?” I knew how much these fellowship nights had meant to him. I knew that this family that was created was because of the Holy Spirit moving within each person who came. I knew that saying goodbye to these fellowship nights would feel as if Adam was saying goodbye to a thousand of his closest friends all at once. And I wanted those who came to the fellowship nights to have the chance to say goodbye to him as a whole family.
And then the idea came to me: Let’s write him a song.
Now, I could say that this idea came to me out of the blue, but really, I was living with the person who cranked out a 20 song album in a few weeks. So the idea wasn’t really out of nowhere. But I knew that this song had to be different from anything else Adam had written or heard and it had to really mean something. So how do you make a song really mean something? Let me share.
There were about 6 people who came consistently to the fellowship nights and helped lead vocally as well as on the piano, guitar and cajon. I created a group message with these six people (David Graham, Matt Black, Karen Postupac, Cailtin Sivavec, Grace Hovis and Silas Stevens) and sent this message:
“Hey hey guys! So I have an idea. Adam leaves in a month and I was thinking of something we could do as a gift for him before he goes, but something more than just a thing. So here’s my thought: Let’s write him a song. I thought it would be neat if each of you wrote out a few sentences of what worship/worship nights, fellowship and all means to you and then I can form the lyrics out of what each of you wrote.”
Each of these people sent me their words and thoughts about what these nights have meant to them. The common theme: fellowship. Although each person shared their own unique thoughts and memories, they all mentioned how these Sunday and Thursday nights brought such belonging and laughter and food! I read this and thought of the testimony this is to the power of the Holy Spirit and His working in uniting the body of Christ, no matter the background you come from. So I took all the thoughts and words and formed the lyrics to our song for Adam – “Create a Space.”
This title came from the words of Cailtin Sivavec. She shared how she remembered Adam sharing that his heart was to create a space for people to worship and come together. What was funny was that the week after I had finished the lyrics, in multiple conversations he kept saying “worship is able to create a space” and inside I kept thinking “Oooooo man, wait until he hears this song. He is gonna cry.” Once the lyrics were complete, I sat down at the piano and in about 2 hours had written the musical melody to go with it.
On the last Sunday before Adam left for Honduras, we all came to the fellowship night with the secret knowledge that we were going to share this song with him. The entire night was filled with such love and the presence of the Lord. As we worshipped, it felt as if the atmosphere changed. I looked around and saw people from all different walks, all different places (physical and emotional) coming together to praise the same King. When we sang the last song, the room grew quiet and we prayed.
I looked at Adam and said “Actually, we have one more song to sing,” and Adam looked at me with the typical “What are you talking about?” face he does where he furrows his eyebrows and kind of drops his mouth a bit, allowing his eyes to display all the confusion that he inwardly feels.
Those of us who had written the song gathered up front and grabbed our instruments, passed out lyrics and explained the song. And then we did what we came to do – we worshipped.
It felt like the perfect way to say goodbye. By the time the song had finished, there was this
blanket of thankfulness, love, sadness, joy, and mourning throughout the whole room.It was the joy of having such a sweet, sweet song that quite honestly captures the whole of what these nights mean. But it was also the sadness in knowing that this song was a goodbye as well. And it's okay that joy and sadness go together, it means that you have something really special.
Adam looked at us and said thank you in the only way that he knows how – with a lot of words and a few jokes. And then, with tears in his own eyes, he said “This is the greatest gift. It means so much to me that you all are here and will be able to love one another, because I won’t be able to do that in the same way.” It was a moment to treasure. (And I won my bet that he was going to cry ;))
This song is a lot more than just some beautiful lyrics and a cool melody. The voices that you hear are those who contributed lyrics and love to the creation of this gift. When you listen, I invite you to picture people from all over coming together as one. This is what our Father in Heaven is longing for, for he desires all peoples, all nations, all over the world to come to know Him. This song is not perfect by any means, but it comes straight from the heart of the body of Christ. It is a picture of these fellowship nights that started with a few people and a table full of pasta.
To this day, the fellowship nights are still taking place on Sundays and Thursdays in Pittsburgh, PA. There is still food and games and lots of wonderful worship. If you would like to come, please send me an email at email@example.com so that I can connect you. Everyone is welcome, and I mean it with my whole heart.
If you are hurting beyond belief or if you have uncontainable joy: You are welcome here. If you are in need of community and a place to get to know other people: You are welcome here. If you carry around the weight of guilt or shame: You are welcome here. If you feel burdened by the regret of past mistakes: You are welcome here. If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and you want more of him: You are welcome here. If you have a love for music or if you can’t keep a beat at all: You are welcome here. If you believe in God, if you are struggling to believe in him, or if you have decided to never believe in him: You are welcome here. There is always room at the table for one more, and we have a seat for you.