PASSING THE BELL
It’s never easy to give up something you love but I’ve been thinking for a while that it’s time to involve the “next generation” in the leadership of the bell choir. It isn’t because I’m weary of directing, it’s more about doing the right thing for the future of the choir and church.
About a year ago I approached Julie H. and asked her if she would be interested in directing. She thought about it and enthusiastically said yes. We’ve been working together ever since to make it happen. She has begun to direct in practice and will make her directorial debut in March. I will be available as her backup and offer advice if needed. I’m planning to stay involved and ring bells. It will be exciting to be on the other side of the tables. I fell in love with handbell ringing way back in college. It will be a nice change.
So over the next few months we will be transitioning leadership of the bell choir to Julie. On any given Sunday that the bell choir plays you may see me directing or Julie or both of us!
When I look back over the last 35 years I am so very thankful for the support of the bell choir, (their support of me and each other), their dedication, the laughter we share, the beautiful music we play, and most of all their friendship. I am specifically thankful for:
Brenda and Ralph – The many years you set up and tore down the bell tables. You will never know how much that helped out and was appreciated.
Phil – Immersing yourself in every aspect of the Mt. Vernon music program. Thank you for including the bells.
Susan – Coming back to choir this year after taking a chance on a new career. I highly recommend the bean soup!
Julie – Your willingness to say yes and take on a new challenge with such a joyful heart.
Beth 2 – The free medical advice. You could have retired by now if only you had charged us!
Lori – Serving as a pillar of courage and strength in the face of such adversity.
Carol F – The endless supply of one-liners. You’re so punny…
Carol R – Your caring and compassion. Yours were the kindest words when I was at my lowest.
Lee Ann – Your concern for others – the news you share about people in need and the cards you bring for us to sign.
Gertrude – Providing inspiration to stay fit and involved whatever your age.
Beth 1 – Squeezing in practice and playing while serving as nanny for your 20 grandchildren. Maybe it only seems like you have 20…
Lynn - Your patience, suggestions and endless accompaniments
I’m also so thankful for the many folks that have participated in the choir in the past, the Chancel Choir for their encouragement and the folks that have dropped me notes or taken a moment to seek me out and say how much they enjoy the music.
I am eternally blessed. Thank you.
MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE!
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands
Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before His presence with singing!”
On behalf of Phil, Terri, Julie and myself, we would like to invite you, the congregation, to join us in “making a joyful noise unto the Lord!”
During the upcoming Lenten season, the choirs will be preparing to lead worship through singing and ringing!
The bell choir rehearses on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM, weather permitting of course. Please see Terri or Julie to join them!
The chancel choir rehearses on Sunday mornings at 9:00… but first… coffee! (right Joanie?)
Our coffee is brewed by our wonderful alto, Jan. If she is not able to be there, someone (usually Bob F.) will take over the job. Watch out if Farmer Ron gets the pot. Be prepared to zoom from your caffeine fix!
(we love you Ron!). Don't worry about clean up. Our Pat S. usually handles that job with her usual sweet smile and kind ways!
The chancel choir also rehearses on one Wednesday evening a month at 7:00. Our next scheduled rehearsal is on March 6, which is also our Ash Wednesday soup and sandwich supper. If you hurry and join the choir, you too, can get out of clean up, in order to go upstairs and practice!
See, we have so many perks!
Right at this moment, I am asking if you see your name anywhere in this article, to let me know.
I will have a special prize for you! We are asking our choir to stay after church on a few Sundays since there is a bit more music to learn for lent and Easter. We will be singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” on Easter Sunday, I am sure many of you have sung it at one time or another, So please consider joining us for that special song.
A full choir would be an amazing way to help celebrate Our Lord’s resurrection!
I must end this now, as Denise is waiting so very patiently for me to submit the newsletter article! No worries, it’s on its way!
Blessings, and hope to see you singing and ringing!
The Paradox of Life
As I sit in front of my audience,
Today, my mind travels back to a time in my youth; when I wished the big moment, and I thought all the world revolved around big things:
Like Christmas Day, Celebrating Super Bowl wins, Graduations from school…
Was judged by extravagance;
(I had a lesson to learn today)
How many times I played
At the memory unit,
And Edith just kind of blended in:
When I would come to shake her hand
After my musical performance,
She would reach out and touch my nose
With her index finger and chuckle!
Lately---she has been fading---
(so I have to initiate contact)
We were on the same thought-train
I looked up from my keyboard,
Edith was sitting in her wheelchair;
A peaceful grace surrounded her---
Her eyes shut but her face aglow,
And her hands in front of her…
After each song, as if a rousing applause,
She tapped her hands together---
& Although---audibly, I couldn't hear a sound,
Forever in my heart, now, when I think of big moments,
It will be Edith and her silent grace-giving applause…