Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day at St. John's West

Happy Father's Day!

As always, it was such a blessing to be at St. John's West this morning. Today, my role was to lead the congregation in music, and to provide a solo song for reflection after the sermon. And, like last time, I also had the awesome role of choosing the music. We usually work with themes from the readings, but this time, Gary really wanted to focus on Father's Day, and especially reminding us of the great father we have in God.

I pulled out every father and family song I could think of - Abba Father, The Family of God, and Daddy Sang Bass. Gary passed on a great new lyric for Faith of our Fathers, so that's how we opened the service. We had a huge closer with Days of Elijah. We put drums and shakers in the pews for the congregation, so everyone just rocked out!

My solo piece was new song I've written called Walking With My Father. I was, of course, terrified just before I started it. (What if they walk out? What if I drop my guitar? You know, all those rational fears!) But I think it went really well.

We also did a new (well, 'new' for me) version of the Eucharistic prayer. The Sanctus, responses, and Great Amen were sung, but under the spoken parts, there were solo guitar chords. It was pretty huge to get the hang of it, but it's really quite wonderful. I'm always so conscious of creating good flow in the service. I always want the music to just come out of things naturally, and I never want the priest or congregation standing awkwardly, waiting for me to start. I actually had someone comment on how well I followed the service and how the music was always ready at the right time, so that was a pretty awesome moment for me. Little did they know, it's from years of watching brilliant church musicians who always know how to time things out so that the hymn ends just as the communion elements are ready, etc. It also helps to watch the priest and look for the one-verse-more-panic in the eyes.

I actually had several wonderful comments after the service, and that was really pretty awesome. If only they knew how much I am blessed to be there!

I'll be back again in August, and I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe I'll have a new Stamps-Baxter song to bring with me!

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