By S. Scott Mapes (Northern District)
Friday, June 14, 2019:
The combination of voices that makes up the conference choir is as diverse as the songs that are sung during worship. This fact shows itself clearly during our rehearsals, which require 12 hours of the schedule of all dedicated members. For example, while singing “Agnus Dei,” several older choir members—meaning older than me—commented favorably about this lovely “new” song. On the other hand, several other singers from more classically oriented churches could not believe that there would be anyone who has never sung “For All the Saints.”
If time and space would allow, I would love to highlight all my fellow vocalists from every point of the Christian musical spectrum. Since I promised certain folk that I wouldn’t embarrass them, it is worth mentioning that we had at least one former conference choir director in our midst: Gena Ryan, a member of the South Charleston First UMC and a grandmother of four.
Here is a question you may not have thought to ask, unless you are a fan of American Idol, The Voice, etc.: When do singers begin to get tired in a conference or other long-term engagement? The correct answer is Day Three, which is today. While there were only two pieces to present — “God Is Working for Our Good” and “Be Not Afraid” — it took great mental effort to stay on task, as well as courage to negotiate those high notes. Our directors must have tremendous patience to work with us!
Singing, therefore, is like everything else in the Christian life. Faith in the Lord and a willingness to act on that confidence are indispensable.