Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sanctuary Choir

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Indeed! How do any of us manage to find the time to get anything done? Our jobs are certainly demanding. And we are led by our conscience, and asked, seemingly at every turn, to volunteer for some project, help out a neighbor or friend, commit to one more baked steak dinner or Zoo Crew work day, join just one more committee, all the while juggling our family's schedules. It never stops and, yet, we do find the time to get to church and invest an hour or so in prayer, praise and learning, a time to re‐focus ourselves on something much larger, much more all‐encompassing, than our busy lives.

Years ago a minister friend shared a story with me of a young man who had recently begun attending the Lutheran Church he pastored. In this particular church, known for its high liturgy and sophisticated music, this guy seemed a little out of place. Known to come from a less socio‐economic privileged part of town than most of the parishioners, his combination of rough looks, jeans and T‐shirt and obvious tattoos led most of the "faithful" in that place to conclude he just wasn't quite their sort. As the pastor got to know him, he learned that this man had in fact been searching for a new church home. As a new member, he had shared that in the midst of the everyday he found the beautiful sanctuary, the high church liturgy, the rite of communion, the mighty hymns and the service music so different from the so-called 'entertainment' and incessant distraction that surrounded him, such that going to church became a thing truly set apart for him. An hour a week upon the mountain top, if you will.

The music of our worship experience is a fundamental, and vital part of this mountain top experience. Neurological research has found a tie‐in between the word, set to music, and our capacity to commit that word to memory. The power of the organ to 'whisper' a prayerful meditation as you receive the bread, or positively thunder the message of the Resurrection, magnifies our Christian experience. And that most original of instruments, the human voice, can do no better than to sing its glory to the Lord.

A volunteer choir is a wonderful opportunity to become part of leading worship yourself, and to make your own worship experience even more meaningful. I know of no one in choir who doesn't have multiple commitments. Not everyone can make every rehearsal or service, nor is that expected. What is wanted is simply this: the desire to be part of a musical team and to raise one's voice in service to God. I know not everyone can spare another hour and a half each week, but suspect many who would like to sing in choir can find the time to join rehearsals more often than not. Plus, we rehearse for 45 minutes every Sunday morning before service. It's been a joy this past season to see the level of commitment to preparation among our choir members, the focus and enjoyment they bring to Thursday rehearsals, and their will to step up and lead come Sunday morning.

The Sanctuary Choir rehearses Thursday evenings at 7:00pm and Sunday mornings at 9:00am. Won't you join us?


Michael Schreffler
Director of Music and Organist