HOW CAN WE KEEP FROM SINGING?
My life goes on in endless song
Above earth´s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?
What tho’ my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What tho’ the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
These words, first published in 1868 and set to the tune we know by Robert Lowry, express so well the deepest feelings of so many Christian singers during this pandemic. Of all deprivations, not being able to sing together has been one of the worst. And yet, we have sung. We have been unable to keep from singing. Singers have found ways to sing “together” even while separated. Social media has been flooded with singers singing and instrumentalists playing. Song has been planted in our hearts by our Creator and we crave it as we crave being with those we love. The desire to sing rises up alive and well in spite of the death of joys and comforts and is indeed a place of refuge in a storm.
Over the last 5 months, there has been lots of thought and prayer as to how our choirs might regather in a manner that allows us to recover the joy of singing together while maximizing safety and minimizing risk. We have come up with a plan that I think allows our sanctuary and youth choirs the pleasure, fellowship, and encouragement of worshiping and making music together, while keeping everyone as safe as we possibly can.
On September 9, these two groups will begin rehearsing again – in our parking lot! Experts all seem to agree that outside is the safest place to sing. The parking lot underneath our CLC is the perfect place to give this a try! We will clear the Park Avenue side of the lot beginning at 5:00PM on Wednesdays. Chairs will be set up six feet apart on all sides and we will count on the shade and the good ventilation blowing through the area to keep us cool enough. Weekday parents will still be able to exit onto Duval Street or Park Avenue as usual, but the area between the driveway to Park Ave. and the CLC building will be coned off for the choirs! Just be advised that parking under the CLC will be pretty much unavailable on Wednesday evenings. You will find, however, an abundance of street parking available during these days of very little downtown activity. It is our sincere hope that the need to get our people singing again will outweigh the minor inconveniences caused by this temporary set-up.
Youth Choir will meet from 6:00-6:45PM and Sanctuary Choir from 7:15-8:00PM. Please pray for these folks as we come back together. Pray that our singing would be a pleasing gift of worship to our Lord, that everyone would be safe from becoming sick, and that we will soon be able to share the gift of song with our congregation.
This is a first step. Hopefully, as time progresses, we can modify and slowly return to normal. In the meantime, you will find us singing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in our hearts to God” on Wednesday nights in the parking lot. Feel free to stop by and listen!
Soli Deo Gloria!