Friday, June 29, 2007

Pentecost 5C at St. Paul's Episcopal, Romeo, MI
Entrance - In Christ there is no East or West (McKEE)
Gloria / Kyrie - Gloria (Mass for Grace, Haywood)
Psalm - Ps16 (TALLIS' CANON, Morgan)
Gradual Sequence Hymn - Alleluia (Sinclair)
Offertory - I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (unk)
Sanctus - Sanctus (Mass for a Soulful People, Brown)
Mem Acc - (omitted)
Amen - Amen I (Robinson)
Lamb - Lamb of God (McLin)
Communion I - Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart (SLANE)
Communion II - (omitted)
Exit - Shine, Jesus Shine (Kendrick)

Hymns are from Hymnal 82 and Songs of Praise 4th ed. Except Shine Jesus Shine which is in a homegrown collection for which we use a CCLI license.

Entrance, Psalm, and Communion are all possibly for pipe organ - haven't decided yet. At Clem's, I always did a real gospelly send-up of McKEE on piano. And I haven't used the organ yet for a psalm or for communion here, but there's no reason I couldn't. Obviously.

If you're looking for good metrical psalm paraphrases, Morgan's Psalms for Christian Worship is a great resource, though he's a bit careless counting syllables sometimes. $17 well spent.

The rest of it: acclamations, except the Robinson (H82) and Sinclair (SOP), are from Lift Every Voice. I'm not a fan of the Haywood Gloria - superfluous refrain, clunky transitions between phrases. Rev. Stacy likes it a lot, though, so I'm stuck with it for the next couple of months. Brown's Holy is better, but it sounds too much like his other ones. The McLin Lamb is nice. And this is our first week with the Sinclair - a staple at Elizabeth's, and my swanelluia at St. Clem's - but they'll fall right into it right away, even if they don't know it already - I imagine they do, given how long they've been using Songs of Praise in this parish.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The awesome power of prayer

For those of you who are inclined to discount this kind of stuff, you'll find plenty of reasons to do so this time too. But if you believe God can and does intervene in response to prayer…

...Mom-in-law Stella, 89 now, has lived with us for the past 5 years, and has a lot of health issues, but none of them life-threatening. Until now. Docs found fluid behind her heart and an aneurysm, put her on diuretics, she didn't handle the diuretics well, and a heat wave earlier this week nearly put her away. Kim called 911, we stayed at the hospital with her most of the night, they sent her home a day or two later after stabilizing her. Seemingly water under the bridge.

But after last night's choir practice, we had our usual closing prayer, and at the end, I asked everyone to pray for Stella, gave them a little detail, and a lot of eyebrows furrowed as they went into deep-prayer mode. I had just tossed it out in passing, they took it to another level, I decided it couldn't hurt, and didn't think much more about it.

When I got home, my sister-in-law was there as well as Kim & Stella, and I found out that Stella had another episode, Kim called 911 again, this time in tears - never did the tears before, but this time Stella really looked like she was fading - and then, as the EMS truck pulled into the drive, Stella snapped out of it, and said, "you know, all of a sudden I feel okay." EMS gave her the once over and went on their way without her, leaving Kim, and Debbie when she arrived, shaking their heads wondering what just happened.

So they told me this, but it didn't occur to me to ask exactly when all this happened. I did THAT this morning when I was getting ready for work. You guessed it - near as we can tell, the miraculous recovery happened almost exactly as we were praying for her. Nobody was looking at their watches, but it was +/- 10 minutes tops.

Something similar happened a few years ago, when a musician friend of mine nearly died from alcohol-related stuff. He also had a miraculous recovery, though there were differences - the timing wasn't as tight, and there were a whole lot of folks praying for him, all over the internet, not just our little choir. But the result was off the charts - not only did he not die, but he has thrived, kicked the alcohol habit, has his symphony career back on track, and released a solo CD.

When I left St. E's the last time, in 2004, I was concerned about losing that level of spirituality. And it happened, pretty much - I felt truly ungrounded during my stint at St. Clem's. And had a little trouble getting it back when I returned to Elizabeth's, probably due at least in part to the intervening deaths of our pastor and our assistant director. In fact, we prayed last night for all the folks we've lost, and thanked God for our time with them. So maybe a little saintly intervention too?

First thing I did this morning when I got to work was to call the choir director and let her know. She made a crack about St. E's having an inside track, but I gotta wonder.

Here's a song I wrote for my teen choir 8 or 9 years ago. I may dust it off and see if my choir / prayer team wants a stab at it:

"There is power in prayer, power in prayer:
God has power to change what needs change in my life.
There is power in prayer, power in prayer:
God will answer each prayer that I pray."

I should listen to myself more often, LOL...