Monday Musing – 02.06.2023
Music is such a powerful part of the experience of worship. It has the ability to convey meaning and emotion that spoken word cannot. And, it has a lasting impact that written and spoken language admire. Case in point, I remember many of the songs I used to sing as a child each week at the start of Sunday school, but I would be very hard pressed to give you much detail about any Bible lesson I heard or read not set to music. And, a Sunday morning sermon? No chance!
It is because I realize that music is so powerful that I give such intentional thought to selecting hymns for each worship service we share together as First United. I give great attention to the words, wanting to convey a message consistent with our Progressive Christian identity. And, Eric Meincke does a fabulous job offering advice regarding the sing-ability of the tunes with which I am unfamiliar. But, one area I have overlooked in this process is your relationship to the music. Just as there are hymns I find to be deeply rich and meaningful, hymns that I sing in the car or that come to mind when I hear a tangentially-related phrase spoken, I am certain there are many hymns that you value and treasure and perhaps even miss signing during Sunday morning worship.
In my previous congregation, I had the luxury of working with an organist and choir director who had been a part of the church for decades. They knew what hymns the congregation loved and were familiar with. However, the situation is different with First United as Eric and I are both relatively new to this community and do not have access to an anthology of the beloved songs of First United. That’s where you come in!
I invite you to share the hymns that you love, that enrich your faith life, that inspire and comfort you. This invitation is for old-timers, new-comers, and everyone in between, because it is together that we are First United. In addition to sharing the name of your beloved hymns, I encourage you to share a bit about why and how they are meaningful to you. Perhaps it was a hymn that got you through a difficult time, was sung at your wedding, or you sang while worshiping with your parents as a child. Or maybe the tune and/or the message simply speak to your innermost being.
I so look forward to learning your musical loves. AND, I commit to actually providing you opportunities to sing them on Sunday mornings that our experience of worship together might be further enriched.
Blessings upon blessings!
Rev. Jessica Petersen-Mutai, Senior Minister