10 January 2009

THE ADVENTURES OF GRAYING PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Music As A Weapon

When Red and Mary reached the sanctuary, Mary took her leave and headed for the choir loft.

Red escorted the Travelers into the sanctuary and found a seat—not a difficult task these days. Pastor Rex came over and introduced himself to the Travelers. “Please don’t forget to sign our visitor’s register so we can follow up.”

The service was the standard Graying service, with the exception that the call to worship was led by John Presley, now a college student, who was home for a break.

“I’ve been attending the campus chapel,” he explained. “We have some really exciting services, and I’d like to open with a song we use called ‘Because We Believe’ by Nancy Gordon and Jamie Harvill . The music is simple and the words are on the insert in the bulletin. It really rocks the rafters! Let’s join together and worship our God.”

“Oh, that’s a great song,” said Brenda Traveler. “We sang it all the time back home, er, in Texas.”

The song, a lively recitation of Trinitarian, Reformed theology was, for the most part, met with restless silence. The seven or eight junior and senior high students made up for the lack of response with their happy excited voices, hands in the air.

Around him, Red heard mutters of “No organ,” and “What page did he say?” as folks leafed through the hymnals. "What in the world does that song mean, anyway," one stage whisperer asked?

Up in the choir loft, Sally Drumwright, the director, was still trying to pass her last minute instructions to the choir. As Mary and a couple of others sang, Sally and many of the choir looked on with only slightly veiled consternation.

“Well, I certainly didn’t approve that performance,” said Elder Bertha Millrind. “I’ll have to take that up with Fred Jones. Sally and the choir have always selected the music for the day’s performance.”

After the anthem, many in the choir packed up and left. “I’m always glad when our performance comes early in the service,” Bertha commented. “I can beat the rush.”

Mary rejoined Red and the Travelers for the rest of the service. The benediction was pronounced at 12:04.

John Jefferson made a bee-line for the door. As he brushed past the Painters and the Travelers at the Visitor's Register, he exclaimed to Red, “Why can’t he stay on schedule? He was 5 minutes long. Darn it, the Eagles are playing and he picks today to go long.”

“Would you care to join us for a bite to eat,” Mary asked. “We usually go to the Gab ‘n’ Gobble. The food is good and they have a kid’s menu. It will give us a chance to talk some more.”

And off they went.

Scheduling note: On Monday, we will interrupt our adventure with a new chapter in the 40 year Vietnam retrospective. But The Adventures of Graying Pres will continue on Tuesday. Will the music wars ever end? Will the Travelers be back next Sunday. Will there be red jello (the very best kind) for desert with the kids mac and cheese at the Gob ‘n’ Gabble? For answers to these and other burning questions, join us next time at Graying Pres.

3 comments:

Reformed Catholic said...

Hehehe ....

Mac ... spot on !!

Michael said...

I love the Greying Presbyterian series. It is wonderful.

Please keep the series going.

Quotidian Grace said...

This is a great one. Those of us who are part of the "graying" church have got to accept the fact that the church music that is meaningful to us may not be meaningful to the "youngsters".