Saturday, September 09, 2006

The People's Church

This morning was an example of why we didn't want an outdoor wedding.

I woke up early today to prepare for my morning performance at the Willowdale Community Fair, sponsored by The People's Church. People's is a huge church in North York. I attended their service a few weeks ago, and saw their advertisements for this fair. I checked my datebook, realized I was free, asked if I could sing, and boom! - booked a time slot.

This is an entirely outdoor event, so what faced me this morning that would prompt my wedding comment above?

Rain! And lots of it. Newfoundland-style cold grey rain. This is the kind of day we usually declare "Cozy Day", basically meaning it's pajamas and movies all day long.

But I had a gig, and that always takes the priority.

We packed up the car and drove up to North York. When we arrived at the church, everyone was so positive that the weather was going to clear, but it was also clear that our set-up would need to change. We had plans for a product table, but there was no covering, so it didn't make sense to have my CDs sitting in water. I also had plans to use Gerald's guitar (mine is still in its post-airline disaster state), but the stage was fully exposed. Gerald has a hand-made guitar valued at thousands of dollars. It has many great features, but water-proofing is not one of them. So we grabbed my teaching guitar from the trunk of the car, tuned it up, and that's what I played.

Once we started, the rain had stopped, but it was still wet and the crowds were low, so I belted out my songs for the tech crew, Gerald, and the people driving by. (If you drove along Shepperd this morning, I was the singing girl who waved at you!)

I started with tracks and did "Shout to the Lord" and "He Saw It All". I then moved on to guitar and did "This Little Light", and my own "Infinitely More", and "I Call Out Your Name". I finished with my "It Is Well" track. Overall, I'm pleased with how I performed. Outdoors is a tough go even when the weather is nice. You never know how the sound will work, and there are a million distractions and potential disasters. But I feel I held my own, and I received a lot of great response, which is always nice.

And I have to say, it felt great to be able to sing some of my own songs in my set. I felt very strong and confident to be able to say that some of my rep was actually MY rep. I was really thrilled that I got comments on "Infinitely More". Someone who had never heard the song before told me she was singing along. I want people to be able to sing my songs, so Big Yay!!!!

After my set, the sun started to warm things up, and I think they probably had a better crowd for the rest of the day. I truly hope it was successful day for them. I just think this kind of outreach is so important. It's all about inviting people onto your grounds and saying "You are welcome in this church! It's a safe place to come! We are here for you!".

I also want to share a great conversation I had today: Gerald and I were telling people about our plans to move to Nashville, and this other singer said, "It's like walking on water". She went on to say that we know Jesus walked on water because he was God. But Peter wasn't! At Jesus's request, Peter - an ordinary dude like the rest of us - stepped out of the boat and walked on water.

Sometimes, in order to follow God's plan, we need to step out our comfortable boats, trust in God, and walk on the water. Such a powerful image, and the more we discussed it, the more it seemed to apply to all we're going through right now.

I'm not leading music anywhere tomorrow, so I'm just planning on attending St. John's York Mills. Dad's retirement is quickly approaching, and between now and January, I want to take every chance I can to hear him preach.

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