MUSIC AND WORSHIP MINISTRY
It seems that each year rushes by faster and faster, I would swear that I just wrote the report for 2015! I suppose that is a good thing as time only seems to go slowly when you are bored and there is certainly none of that here!
In January we began Epiphany with a Sanctuary installation that featured all of the mirrors in the church building and a few more that were borrowed! To this we added small mirrors that could go in our pocket to remind you that you are the reflection of God in the world every day. With these mirrors we were looking to reflect the light of God in each of our lives a bit more brightly each week. A feature in worship each week was the uncovering of a beautiful piece of artwork painted on a mirror by Rachel Laughlin. It was covered in blue paint and a different section of the work was revealed each week. Epiphany was a fairly short season this year as Easter was in March! Ash Wednesday was February 10 so we moved into Lent.
During Lent the mirrors were mixed with stones that became a pathway to the cross on Good Friday. Each Sunday in Lent the children filled in the “shadow” of the cross with stones and small mirror pieces. On Good Friday the shadow was destroyed and poured out on the offering table. Easter was then a grand celebration of lilies and gold fabric. The Sanctuary Choir, Children’s Choir and the Youth Choir sang a joint anthem and the choir loft was filled with people and song.
The Easter season featured the rocks and small mirrors slowly developing into a picture of a dove rising from the fires of the Holy Spirit to celebrate Pentecost. The season of Pentecost lasts a really long time! We are still in the Pentecost season in the fall when the new cycle of the Narrative Lectionary begins. The fall season did begin a new with the Narrative Lectionary in Genesis walking through a set of Old Testament stories. The sanctuary installation consisted of a large chalkboard with a road on it was a symbol of the road we walk along with God in life. Each week we added the scripture passages to the road in many different languages from Biblical Hebrew to Karen.
Through all of these seasons the Sanctuary Choir has been hard at work providing appropriate music for each season. We presented “Return to Me” on Good Friday followed by the joyous music of Easter. The choir sang for most of the summer. We sang many different settings of “The Lord’s Prayer” during the summer series on the prayer. The fall season had the choir working on many anthems based on the Old Testament scriptures while working on music for Advent and Christmas. This Advent season featured an anthem written for us by Ryan Corbitt “Christmas Candles” and several other anthems composed by Susan Braden. We presented these as well as other works at Tabernacle and also at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg. The Sanctuary Choir is a wonderful dedicated group of people who love to sing and lead in worship. We have a wonderful time together and are always open to new people joining us.
In the spring, The Older Children’s Choir and Handbell Choir was led by Terry Witt, Jessica Corbitt, Laura Severns and Judy Fiske, the Preschool Choir was led by Helen Davidson and Judy Fiske and the Youth Worship Arts group was led Marty Watkin, Judy Fiske and Ron Simmons. Dylan, Kaeo, Kanoa, and Kekoa Burgess, Frances Lowery, Waysnah Htoo, Monica Iang, Christina Sung and Brynne Severns attended Virginia Baptist All-State Choir in January and February. Five youth and two chaperones attended Animate Worship Camp in June. In July we had 15 people attend Music and Worship Arts Camp at Eagle Eyrie. In the fall the Older Children kept their same leadership and Larry Allen assisted Helen Davidson with Preschool Choir. Ron, Marty and Judy continued to lead the Youth Worship Arts team.
This summer Susan Braden presented her musical “Because I Can Sir” in our Sanctuary. This musical tells the story of her battle with cancer. She has also presented this program in NYC at Metro Baptist in NYC, in Arkansas and in Roanoke. In 2017 she will present the show again at Metro Baptist as a fundraiser for cancer research.
The music staff continues their excellent work. This year we celebrated “10 years with Ryan Corbitt.” In 2017 we will celebrate 20 years with Ron Simmons! Terry Witt has become a great mentor to our older children musicians as well as an anchor to our Sanctuary Choir. These dedicated and talented musicians are invaluable to the ministry that is accomplished at Tabernacle.
It has been a busy year for all of us and definitely not boring. Take the time to thank a musician, young or older, for their hard work in preparing to lead our congregation in worship each week.