Dean’s Message: How Do We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Foreign Land?

While we haven’t been taken captive to Babylon, it certainly feels like we are living in a foreign land right now. It is somewhere between difficult and impossible to do the things in music that we have spent so much time and devotion learning to do. Some of us have loved ones in retirement communities and nursing homes that we can only see through windows. One in six Americans is unemployed. What we used to think of as normal life isn’t going to fully return until a vaccine is developed against the novel corona virus. Yes, there will be a homecoming to Jerusalem, but much will need to be rebuilt.

Here is an interesting and sobering article which I highly recommend. It asks 24 questions about how our churches will function when they reopen for worship. Now is the time to be planning ahead for a successful and safe resumption of worship, choirs, weddings and funerals.

I always look forward to a continuing education event during the summer months. Most years, it is hard to choose which one to attend. This summer, nearly everything has been canceled, but I can strongly recommend The Hymn Society’s Online Conference, which is July 12-16. You pay only the conference fee and the annual membership dues, but there is no cost for travel, hotel or meals since you will be “attending” from home! I have never been disappointed when attending Hymn Society events. Here is the website.

In addition to everything else, my church will change pastors on July 1. I will confess that I’ve lost some sleep over that news. I’m sure each of you has plenty of your own worries and concerns at this time. Local food pantries, including RCS Food Bank in Clearwater are worried about running out of food because the annual Postal Carrier food collection has been postponed. If you are able to donate non-perishable food, they would be grateful to receive it.

As John Wesley said, do as much good as you can, in any way that you can, for as long as you can.

Bradley Swope, Dean