The joy of christ the king sunday in pittsfield...

Today was one of those magical days in church-life when
EVERYTHING was filled with grace.  Let me confess that I know that not everyday is beautiful when it comes to being part of the so-called institutional church.  We are often clunky and embarrassing and even stupid and cruel.  But not today... today was a little taste of the God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  (And my soul was ready!)

+ First, my lay reader this morning was exquisite:  loving, committed, articulate and fully engaged.  Every time she read Scripture - and she had to read a LOT this morning - I found myself lifted into another realm.  Pure beauty on every level.

+ Second, the hymns made me weep:  I LOVE the old favorites and today on Christ the King Sunday we sang them all as we revisited the church year.  We sang, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" to evoke Advent as well as "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" to celebrate Easter.  One of my favorites, "Breathe on Me Breath of Life" was our Pentecost selection and we brought everything to a close with "Life Up Ye Gates" which is a stellar year end closer and a teaser for the Advent yet to come.  What's more, my Music Director (Maestro Carlton) and I got to groove for a time on his brilliant jazz arrangement of "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name."  And then I got the word that in our PIE challenge we made 468 pies and donated money enough to take us over 500!
+ Third, my sound guys - Rob and Paul - gave up seven hours of their Sunday to both set up for our 25+ person Thanksgiving Eve show and then tweaked the sound for a three hour plus rehearsal - and they were funny, on-task and loving throughout the whole gig!  Paul was giving children piggy-back rides as the evening dragged on for little ones. And Rob kept making the house mix sound like something brilliant.  These guys are unsung saints and I am so blessed to work with them.  And then my man, Ted, brought pizza, beer and water for all of us in rehearsal - what a God send, too! 
+ Fourth, we were finally able to find a place for one of the special needs adults who has been worshiping with us for the past three years. He sooooooo wants to sing, but he can't read well and has issues with his various medications.  But we found a place for him in the gospel chorus and when is saw him singing and swaying and fulling moving to the groove, it made me KNOW this was a blessed time.  Later in the hall as he was combing his hair over a bald head, he smiled and said, "A little Alberto VO 5 makes EVERYTHING work out just right!"  This is going to be hot!

+ Fifth, everybody rocked and rolled:  our musical guests bring us such love and depth of beauty, our regular volunteers give heart and soul to this gig and the professionals help us all take the music to a higher level.  As I noted earlier, there will be 25+ people when everyone is on the stage - and there is no filler here - everybody contributes to the beauty of the whole.

We've got gospel, jazz, rock and roll, folk, tunes from the American Song Book, sing-a-longs, funk as well as my tribute to St. Lou Reed. Dianne is going to sing a song in Spanish from Linda Ronstadt who can no longer make music given her Parkinson's.  And the tune she picked comes from the legacy of Daniel Valdez, whom I knew from the United Farm Worker Days, with Teatro Campesino.  It will be Pete and Arlo meet Springsteen, Lady Gaga and the Edwin Hawkins Singers - with just a little bit of Sesame Street, too.
I am weary - I am fried - and I am so, so very blessed tonight. Onward... or as we used to say with Cesar Chavez:  VENCEREMOS!


Popular Posts