This week the Adult Choir and Choristers lead worship together. The Choristers will sing an African-American spiritual, Rise, Children, Gonna Praise the Lord. They have been experimenting with movement while singing this song. The Adults and Choristers will sing a traditional South African song for the offertory, Sizohamba Naye (We Will Walk With God) arranged by Terry Taylor. The opening organ voluntary is by German composer Heinrich Scheidemann, Praeambulum in G major. The closing organ voluntary is Ballo della Battaglia by Italian composer Bernardo Storace.
This week both the Singers and the Choristers will help lead worship. The Choristers are singing a song by Mark Patterson called This Is the Day, based on Psalm 118. For the Offertory, the Singers will sing Now Join We to Praise the Creator by Michael Bedford. Both of these anthems explore the theme of thanksgiving, for God’s creation and for the blessings of the harvest while lamenting hunger and misuse of land. Roger Authers is our guest organist this Sunday. He is playing Prelude on ‘Down Ampney’ by British composer Henry Ley. Down Ampney is a hymn tune that you might know with the words Come Down, O Love Divine. Roger is also playing Alla Breve by French composer Nicholas Gigault.
Every time that I sing Know That God Is Good with the children of our church I am reminded of the truth of that statement. They sing the verses in English and Swahili, and end with a joyful Hallelujah. If there is drumming involved they are even more enthusiastic. During the choristers rehearsal the children all get a chance to play the drum while we sing. As each child has the drum placed in front of them, they turn their attention to keeping a steady beat. This skill takes a lot of concentration to master, and they focus all of their energy to the task. My hope is that the skills that they learn through singing in choristers, Sunday school, and worship will ground them in their faith. The steady beat that resonates through the drum will guide them in their faith journey. The rainbow bulletin board that the children created in the choir room is a visual to remind us all of the goodness of God that can be found in all people. That is why our rainbow is made of many hand shapes. May you see the goodness of God in the people that you encounter this week. And if you are struggling to see the good, take a look at all the children and youth of our church and they sing, pray, praise, and play.