Walter Brueggemann, an Old Testament scholar and theologian who recently spoke and preached at Westminster, once said that “the church meets to imagine what our lives can be like if the gospel were true.” As members of a congregation which prides itself on being “progressive” and “transformed,” it is easy to envision that we are setting the world on fire, which happens to be our stewardship theme this year. However, it is difficult at times to reconcile the minutiae of coordinating communion preparation and servers and the logistics of organizing the Easter breakfast, banners, pew rack maintenance, and flower arrangements with the joyful celebration of God’s promise to our world. But in that tenuous space between logistics and celebration lies committee work.
We like to joke about the Presbyterian affinity for complex organizational models, but in fact much of God’s work can be found in the details. Will new visitors feel welcomed by our congregation? Our membership subcommittee has organized greeters, flyers, buttons, and personal notes. Will our musically-inclined members find a place in the choir? Our adult and children’s choirs are complemented by the Singers choir and the newly-formed Life-Long Song class. Will our monthly communion services truly be a sacrament of personal transformation? As volunteers carefully dice bread and pour juice into tiny cups they transform hours of manual labor into moments of intense joy within our corporate worship.
What you see and feel in worship each Sunday are slivers of Christ’s light. Whether it is a commissioned anthem for the choir, a baby baptized, an artistic banner, a candlelight prayer vigil for refugees, a sermon that evokes both a chuckle and a tear, or a child’s pleasure in his own “worship bag,” the worship and music committee hopes to magnify those slivers of God’s transformative power. While much of God’s work takes place on Monday mornings in the Lounge or Thursday nights in the choir room, on the organ bench in the sanctuary or perched behind the sound system in the balcony, the manifestation of these “duties” move from behind the scenes into the forefront of God’s arena–our humanity made holy each Sunday as we worship and make music together.
Chair, Worship and Music Division