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Perfect the Praises

Dear Friends,

The week after Labor Day Weekend has always seemed a bit of a scramble to me. The slow pace of summer picks up, and suddenly we take notice that the daylight is getting shorter. Whether it is school, or other programs in which we participate it seems like there are new demands on us, at the same time, especially this week, we feel the chill of autumn encroaching on the hot breezes of summer.

The Gospel reading for this coming Sunday invites us to think of ways that we can serve God more skillfully. As the Choir Director I am always thinking of ways to develop the skills and build on the talents of the people in the choir, and how to hone my craft as a musician in order to, as a BCP prayer states "...perfect the praises offered by your people on earth."

In our staff meeting this week we pondered those things which make us anxious as well as those that carry the expectation of joy. Both of mine were the same. That is, the thing that brings me the most joy, brings with it some anxiety. Even though I see some choir members regularly in the summer pick-up choir, at this point, I really miss seeing folks in Thursday rehearsals to prepare music for worship services. I am ready to hear again the voices combining in the preparation of hymns and anthems, but most of all, I miss the people. I miss seeing the smiling faces, and deep friendships, and affection for each other in the process; the building up of community through our weekly music making. This is a great joy.

However, I am often anxious that I won't have enough singers, or that I won't be able to teach the music, or that somehow I will let down this incredible group. As I begin my 29th year here, and my 46th year directing choirs in churches, I can reflect that even though there have been ups and downs, God has always been praised as the best musical efforts were put forward. If I would only trust in my people more fully! As God has provided for years, I need to trust that there will be a choir, and that people will come back and share in this joyful process of leading people in song of praise to God.

I invite you to think about adding your voice and individual skills (which really do get better with practice) to the adult choir community, and also I invite parents to encourage your children to participate in the Choir Program, to learn the skills, and background for a more fulfilling worship experience.

Contact me if you are intrigued, I would be glad to talk with you.

Rehearsals for adults are on Thursdays from 7:30 to 9:30 and 9:00 am on Sunday (Warm-up before church)

For Thursday rehearsals for third grade students through high school age please contact me.

In Christ,

Robert Barney

Director of Music

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