Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pastors, Allergies, and Joy!

Okay, a little business to start: I forgot one more good thing in my Weekend Update post. I got an letter last week inviting me to join the BCC (Bellevue Community Church) music team. Yay! It's not a weekly commitment, which is good, and they make great music. Very happy for this opportunity!

On the down side, I am completely plagued by allergies right now! They were annoying in Toronto, but there's something different in the air down here, and I've been in terrible shape for 2 days now. And yes, I am taking antihistamines! I was supposed to go hear Allison Durham Speer in concert last night, and Buddy Greene tonight (both artists that I adore!) and I couldn't make it to either show. Very frustrating!!!

But, here's the real highlight of the day: Bright and early this morning, around 8:30am, we received a phone call asking us if we could sing at noon! Don Burnett is the interim music director at Calvary Baptist Church, where we sang before Easter. He's involved with a weekly fellowship meeting for Baptist ministers, and he sometimes gets to bring in the guest musicians. Well, today, with 3-and-a-half hours notice, we were invited to come and sing for the group.

We were very excited about the possibilities, because each of these pastors could potentially invite us to sing in their church. We only had to sing 2 songs, but sometimes, that's harder than singing a full program. Those 2 songs really had to count! We rushed around getting ready, warming up, and choosing arrangements. The room we'd be visiting had no real sound system for the guitars, so we were really excited to use the new amp!

We packed up the car and headed downtown to First Baptist Church. The meeting room was small, with 25-30 pastors having lunch. After the lunch, and a few announcements, we were invited to sing. We started with "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus", with both of us on vocals and guitars. In our introduction, it was announced that I was a PK (Preacher's Kid). It wasn't until I was announcing our songs, that I realized how special this event was to me. For years, Dad went to clergy conferences and meetings, and I know how much they added to his life and ministry. Standing before these men (yes, Baptist church, all male pastors!), I recognized the importance of that community. They were gathered together to be around other men who "got it", other men who could understand the unique pressures of being in the ministry. I suddenly felt very emotional, and very humbled, to be invited into this time. I mentioned that briefly in my introduction, and we ended with our second song, "People Get Ready", a vocal duet with Gerald on guitar.

After our songs, the main speaker gave his message about 'anger'. He was a great storyteller, and spoke about the anger that seems to be infecting individuals in our society. He also spoke about the anger that many people feel towards the church, and how they, as ministers, can address these needs in their congregations. It was a wonderful talk. After the meeting, we got to speak with many of the pastors, and then had a great Italian meal downtown.

This afternoon, Gerald continued his co-writing session with Lisa, and I continued to work on the tour. We leave next Wednesday! Can't believe it's so soon! There's so much work to do, but I refuse to get overwhelmed by any of it. I was watching Oprah today (yes, big Oprah fan!) and she was talking about 'joy'. In many and various ways, she seeks to invite joy into her life. Not simply peace or contentment, but joy! I love that, and I've decided that, throughout this touring process, in everything from the booking to the driving to the performances, I will seek JOY in all I do!

(Of course, if I have a cranky day, please refer me to this entry!)

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