monique

Woolgathering
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2006-11-13 22:00:03 (UTC)

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

Yesterday

This past week-end I was in class in Portland but instead of
driving directly home I went to Corvallis. Our choir was
one of six participating in "Make a Joyful Noise! A Choral
Celebration" in the afternoon. This was in support of the
United Campus Ministry at Oregon State University and held
at the Corvallis First United Methodist Church.

We are a very small country church. It was built by farmers
over 150 years ago and has served us well but most of our
members are elderly and our congregation is small. We have
about 50 members and average 30 on most Sundays; a number of
our members are in nursing homes. There are seven of us in
the choir--the pastor, her husband and their grown daughter;
the lay leader and his wife; the youth Sunday school leader;
and me and I'm the children's Sunday school teacher although
because I'm taking classes on some Sundays now there's
sometimes a substitute. When you belong to a small church
you necessarily must wear many hats.

The other choirs ranged in size from about 60 to about 18.
We were by far the smallest choir there. The first choir
that sang was the Corvallis church choir and we were second.
Needless to say, we were very nervous standing there in a
huge church, packed full of people, and we were following a
very large choir which sang a complicated hymn with many
parts and they sang it beautifully. We told each other to
remember to smile and that we were there for nothing more
than to share our love for music and for Jesus and to have
fun.

We began with "Sing Alleluia to the Lord" which is simple
and repetitive, sung like a round; first the men and then
the women. It was beautiful and gentle. The second song
was "Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying" which is a
gospel song and we sang it loud and with great feeling,
especially the refrain "Give us love, give us power, give us
grace." We were delighted with the audience reaction to
both our songs as they gave us long and enthusiastic
applause after each one. We then had the pleasure of sitting
down the rest of the hour, listening to all the beautiful
music and voices of the other choirs. John had met me at
the church so we sat next to each other. I'd missed him the
few days I'd been gone in Portland.

At the end of the program, as our choir stood to leave, we
were surprised when members of the audience and other choirs
came up to us and said that we were awesome and touching and
several said they had cried as we sang. We had been pleased
we hadn't messed up, missed our cues, or sung off key but
apparently we had done even better than we'd realized or
hoped. And yes! We had fun!

Today

Today is one day I'm home to cook and bake and get ready for
the work week. This is one of John's four last vacation
days this calendar year. We went to Junction City and did
the grocery shopping and then I went to the senior center
where I volunteer providing individual Internet and computer
instruction. I had a busy morning as all my appointment
slots were filled.

As soon as we got home, we put the groceries away, made and
ate lunch, and then I got the pot roast in the oven. It'll
be in there all day so the baking for lunches will be done
in the evening, when John is at class. I also plan to write
up a one-page report on library volunteer programs and
grants for the staff meeting at work tomorrow morning and
make enough copies for everyone.

The winds we've had the past few days have scoured all the
leaves off the snowball tree and the birds are back. John
filled the bird feeder and they are flocking to it. He made
a fire in the fireplace so my study area is nice and cozy.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow, before work, I plan on doing some basic
housekeeping chores. Then work. And finally, in the
evening, choir practice.


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