The song for today is “Behold That Star,” because we’re singing it in church this morning. It was written by Thomas W. Talley, the son of a slave, while at Fisk University. Here’s the sheet music, and you can hear it there, too. I’m the soloist, which #1 son said is no big deal, but he’s not the one singing a high E at 8:30 in the morning.
So I need to wake my voice up. I haven’t sung since Christmas.
#2 daughter and I were talking last night about how worship planners who are concerned about time always go after the music.
A typical hymn lasts for about three minutes, maybe less. Cutting a verse probably saves forty seconds. Ministers are fine with starting the service three minutes late, with spending forty seconds walking to the lectern, with a minute or two of banter and introductory chat every time they stand up — and then want to sing just one verse of the hymn.
Once, faced with this attitude, I said, “Oh, sure, the congregation is just sitting there during the hymns thinking,’I wish we’d finish this song so we could get to the sermon.'”
My sarcasm was met with silence. I’d like to think it was the silence of people who hadn’t thought of that before, but of course it might have been an offended silence.
I agreed to lead the worship team this year. For my first act, I sent out an email to the people who had agreed to find team leaders for each of the little teams within the worship team, giving the names of the people I’d found and asking them to give me the names and email addresses of the people they’d found.
My email also was met with silence.
Last year at this time, I was leader of the music ministry (and I suppose I still am, since no one else has stepped forward) and the worship team’s first job was to find leaders for all those little teams — the communion stewards, greeters, ushers, lay readers, acolytes. The team leaders would be in charge of finding people to do these little jobs, so that we didn’t have to grab people right before church every week. Obviously, this would be a timesaving and stree-reducing thing to do. We never did it. It wasn’t my job, so I didn’t do anything about it, but it still startles me that in an entire year we weren’t able to accomplish this. Or get our website live. Or, indeed, anything else we had claimed we wanted to do, except for fixing the music in the early service, with resulting increase in attendance.
So this morning I intend to track down all those people and ask them kindly how they’re doing on finding the team leaders.
Yesterday, we undecorated our house, pulled all the furniture out of the living room and vacuumed, dusted, and cleared up some of the disarray. I also scrubbed the kitchen pretty thoroughly. After that, I lolled around reading and knitting and talking with assorted family members.
Today is the last day of the winter break for us; everyone goes back to work or school tomorrow. My husband is going back to work, even though they’ve sent his machines to Texas. He has no idea what he’ll be doing, and is in fact expecting to be sent home with a pink slip, but I don’t think so.
In any case, I’m thinking that today is the day to finish and/or throw out all the remaining holiday goodies, and to loll around with a will, in order to recharge sufficiently to meet tomorrow with zeal.
That’s the plan.