Saturday, May 01, 2010

AWARE Conference - Day 2

Today was a long and wonderful day with the women of AWARE. We started bright and early with a few solos as the women were entering the chapel, which lead into a joyful time of worship. These women really came here to sing! When they see a song come up on the screen that they love, we get a collective gasp of surprise, followed by joyful and boisterous singing.

This weekend has been crazy busy, so Deanna and I took a little time this morning to sit by the lake with our tea. Lovely.

Gospel artists often debate (ie: argue) about “preparation” vs “following the Spirit.” Well, today was an example of how good preparation can allow you to follow the Spirit. When I was packing my music on Friday, I decided to throw in a few charts for some of the Gospel hymns I like to sing: “Just as I am,” “He Touched Me,” “Jesus is Lord of All,” and so on. This afternoon, we gathered in the chapel for the much anticipated Taize service. We moved our instruments to the floor so we could sit on chairs and be closer to the people, the candles, and the small altar. We did a quick sound check, and as we were waiting for the service to begin, the organizers informed us that, following the service, there would be a short time of annointing. Did we have a few gentle songs we could sing during that time, perhaps something like “Just as I am”?

Why yes, yes we do.

The service was wonderful. We sang about 8 Taize choruses, and in between each one, different women would either read scripture or say a prayer. There was a gentle stillness about the whole thing. After the service proper, I took the guitar and played my collection of hymns. A few people gently sang along. I needed one more, so I played my own song, “I Call Out Your Name.”

The times in between services and worship sessions has been filled with chatting, laughing, deep breaths by the lake, and lots and lots of food! What is it about church folks and eating???

Our evening worship was awesome! They sang and danced and waved flags and it was beautiful! I wish I’d had my camera up on stage with me to take a picture of it, but a photo couldn’t have captured the beauty of the faces and the voices. After our session, Melanie spoke again and then did a short concert of her songs.

We’re all very tired tonight, but it’s a satisfied tired.

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