One of the things that I love most about music ministry is how, in the process of making music and serving God, deep and lasting friendships are built.
This morning, we had the opportunity to sing in worship at Church Street United Methodist Church. I have been friends with their youth choir director, Tim Ward, for many years. Our choirs joined forces and sang at the United States Naval Academy Chapel in 2014. It was great to see Tim and some of those singers again!
The setting of today's worship allowed us to do some of our more formal pieces. We opened with a piece called "Music of Living" by Dan Forrest. Strong and powerful, it begins with the lines "Giver of life, creator of all that is lovely."
Iain conducts this piece for us and Brie accompanies, which leaves me in the unusual position of having absolutely no real responsibilities. Instead, I am given the joy of listening.... of being on the receiving end of the music. It is a special place to be. To watch the kids in worship from my position in the choir loft, to watch Iain conduct, and hear Brie command the piano is just an incredible blessing. It's also a little bit dangerous; I am likely to burst into tears at the joy of it all! To watch the current singers of VIP and remember the alums, and consider all that God has done through the choir... well, how could you not be thankful and amazed? Creator of all that is lovely... yes!!!
Further in the service, we premiered a piece that Iain wrote for us. It was the offertory and what was really cool is that in the minutes before we sang, the organist played a beautiful version of Iain's music. We didn't know that was coming and it was fun to watch the choirs eyes light up as they recognized what they were hearing.
Iain's piece is tough (no shocker there) and we have been working hard to prepare it. Today was the first day that we really navigated it well. Hooray for that timing! Iain kindly agreed to let me sing on this piece, and I have been having the best time in the alto section. There is something surreal about standing in a choir, shoulder to shoulder with kids you love, singing a piece that was written for the choir, and being conducted by the composer who happens to be an alum -- and doing it all for the glory of God. I was so glad that we sang this piece as the offertory. Waves of gratitude for the Creator of all that is lovely. This morning was lovely.