Fun in church again today. Richard (our minister) created a “Lighter and Brighter” service dedicated to easing any growing winter blahs. This worked! My blahs were definitely eased and it appeared to me from my vantage point in the choir that the blahs of the rest of the congregation were eased as well. In fact Kathy happily lit a candle for the big fat robin she had seen yesterday, and Heather lit one for the amazing shooting star she saw last night on driving home from performing at the White Mountain Hotel. Were these premonitions of the paradigm shift we experienced in church today? Ha Ha Who knows? Speaking of paradigm shifts, Richard arrived in a light tan suit with a yellow tie and proceeded to give us opening words in jumpy jazz rhythm.
He invited Mary Hargreaves, better known as Mary Ukelady, to help us sing away the winter blues, and she was terrific as usual. She and Heather did a great duet together, and also Heather, our choir director, did her amazingly awesome new song, Make It Mine, that she did at the Open Mic on Friday. The choir put on a show of its own with an exciting do-do-wah song which Heather had picked out for it. We had the congregation jumping, yes, almost literally.
Speaking of the Open Mic on Friday, that was terrific too. There may have been upwards of 60 people squeezed into the concert hall in the church basement. Heather, leader of the Open Mic, had to cut the number of songs per performer back to two from three in order to fit everyone in. The choir did “One More Circle” by Peter Mayer, arr. Jim Scott, and I think we really bashed it. Yippeeee!
So what do all these fun and games have to do with bettering the state of the world and the people suffering in it? Are people suffering? Absolutely! But the purpose of our celebration today was to celebrate life, the world, and our amazingly good fortune to be alive in it, to be thankful, ever so thankful that we live, have life and love for this brief time on earth. And every person’s death diminishes us.
How about I close with John Donne’s famous poem?
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
Many years ago at the Arlington Street Church in Boston we did a Vaughn Williams musical arrangement of this poem. Wish I still had it.