Pastoral Post 9.15.2016

(This post was also printed in this week’s First Words.)

 I find myself reflecting on this past Sunday with much gratitude. On most Sundays when I preach, I do so early in the 8:30 service then leave to preach late in the 8:40 service. It’s not ideal to not be present for the entire services, but this is how it works. This past Sunday, with Becky Brown preaching, I spent the entire service at 8:40 while Susan Giles presided at 8:30.

 Here’s what I’m getting to—I am grateful today especially for the diversity of music in our worship services. As a child of the 60s-70’s, I love guitars and drums, so I appreciate our very fine band at 8:40 as they faithfully provide music for that service week after week.  Sometimes the music is a bit loud, at other times not so loud, but always it is played exceptionally well.

 Now, as for 8:30, Morning Song usually sings there, either a quartet or quintet that often sings acapella. Their harmonies are gorgeous, and in the quietness worshipers are drawn into the beauty and simplicity of God.

 Then there’s 11:00, and our excellent organist Steve McClure starts us off with an Introit and plays the hymns and accompanies our amazing choir with many voices lifted to God. These past few weeks, our Director of Music and Worship Arts Scott Taylor brought his guitar to 11:00 and led us in a special song for our “From Root to Fruit” series—diversity within that service!

 And then Sunday afternoon some of us returned for the organ concert with Tate Addis. I listened for more than an hour, often with eyes closed, marveling at the many and various sounds that incredible instrument makes.

 What a variety! And I haven’t yet mentioned Willie Hubbard and our handbell choir, and Angela McHenry and our children’s choirs, and Music Makers which starts back this week , and other talented musicians who play from time to time.

 I’m very grateful that our church offers such an amazing variety of music, all performed with excellence, so that we may each of us worship in ways most meaningful to us. Remember, always God is the object of our worship, and music helps us to lift our hearts and souls to God.

 And many thanks to the Discipleship Team that developed the “From Root to Fruit” metaphor. As our 3-week series ended this past Sunday, it was moving to see the people lined up to make their mark on the tree, each becoming a part of the whole.

 Already I’m beginning to hear, “We’ll see you next spring,” from our Florida folks. I tell them, “Don’t leave before the leaves change!” But some of them, it seems, must. Go safely, dear friends and have a good winter down south. We’ll miss you and look to your return in spring!

 See you Sunday,


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