Monday, July 25, 2005

Sunday Was Great!

Yesterday was a great day. The service was filled with healing, repentence, and good news. People overwhelmingly affirmed the pastor. Hooray!

The music, was, to say the least, a rush. I usually sing the male lead part, since my voice, shall we say, carries. The lead = melody as best as I can figure out. Anyway, when I got there, the "girls" were already practicing ... now, I wasn't late, they were already there. That means they did the first service. That means the folks that play the instruments were not there. That means we have 40 minutes to prepare the entire service. Oh, my frayed nerves!

The girls' reaction to my arrival was one of "Oh hi, we're just gonna sing this morning ..." I'm not sure I said anything, I just went into "do what you're told" mode. Now, let me tell you, I learn a tremendous amount on these "change of plans" Sundays. I learn why musicians think they don't have to practice (why practice, it won't be the same anyway ...). I learn why the motto becomes "Stay Flexible" when it comes to worship. And I learn a lot of musical technical stuff that keeps me fresh and agile (like learning to sing over the top of the mic instead of putting it in front of the mouth). I wouldn't trade it for anything, although actually knowing the songs would be helpful.

We had the piano player, and she sang alto, so we had 3 girls and me singing. Now singing without any instruments other than the piano is similar to singing a capella, so it challenges my A.D.D./Blondeness, but it is certainly beautiful when done right. The music turned out gorgeous. After singing the praise music, we sat down for communion. Normally, the pianist plays while the elements are passed out and people sit quietly, but on this day she had a mic and led the congregation in very familiar songs. I don't know if it was a God thing or a blonde thing, but when we sat down, I couldn't spot where my wife was sitting, so I just sat in the front pew. The female lead singer sat in the front pew on the other side of the church. Normally I sing softly when the pianist leads praise, but on this day, I sang out as my partner did on the other side. The resulting congregational praise and worship brought tears of joy to many an eye.

After communion, our new chair of the trustees gave a unity talk, then the entire congregation laid hands on the pastor and prayed for him. The singers got up again to sing "They will know we are Christians by our love" (which I only sort of know). That's when the lead female singer disappeared. Yep, gone, hasta lavista, Elvis has left the building ... gone. The pianist, who wasn't singing on this song now did the alto, and my new partner did the tenor. I sang out the melody with words that were, oh, for the most part, correct. It worked out ... whew!

I had spotted where my wife was sitting and sat there for the sermon. When I got there, she was gone. I turned to my friends behind me and said "where'd she go?" Of course, they responded "who?" I felt as if I were in the church of the holy twilight zone. I settled in for the sermon anyway. She finally showed back up, mumbling something incomprehsible.

Finally, the sermon was over and it was time to lead the last hymn. I think it was "The solid rock". At least I knew this one. I looked up ... no piano player. Oh great, now we're down to only two a capella! I sent my wife after her. We stalled on our way to the front, and thank goodness, she showed up shortly.

All and all, it was a great (and funny) day in the Lord.

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