One of the best things about attending church is just being able to sing nice and loud for a couple hours (including choir practice) a week-- especially with other folks. Seems to me it is good for the soul to belt out a few tunes now and then. For example, I'm teaching the kids the old Fig Newton commercial jingle from the 70's "oooey gooey rich and chewy inside. golden cakey tender flakey outside..." Make 'em sing and dance for their supper.
I'm not a sophisticate when it comes to music and so I hadn't noticed that our church organ had troubles. A committee formed to look into getting a new organ. They worked for the better part of a year; getting bids, traveling to various area churches to play the different types of organs, and figuring out the finances. They brought the bids and their recommendations before the whole church congregation-- basically held us after the service-- the ushers stubbornly not leading us out of the sanctuary. Earnest was incensed-- "What!? Church is over and we don't get to leave?" It was more than a fidgety 6 year old could take.
The committee was nervous as they presented the request. They had no idea what the sentiment of the crowd was. Neither did I- I wasn't even sure what the man sitting next to me would vote in a secret ballot. Even though I am married to him.
They passed out secret ballots; we all voted and passed our votes down the aisle. A couple folks went into the lobby to count them. After a bit Joanne walked down and handed the results to the church president. Votes in favor 69. Opposed 0.
For what ever reason I wanted to burst into tears of joy. Believe me, I'm not that attached to getting an organ. It was just giddyingly refreshing to sit in a room with 100 people -- newborns to 100 years old-- republicans and democrats-- white collar and blue collar workers-- and we all agreed on something. Not a curmudgeon in the crowd. Imagine that- 69 to 0.
What's more- during these hard economic times that vote is a most hopeful statement about the future. We will invest in the future. Not just the things that HAVE to be done like repairs, but things that bring nothing more than beauty, comfort, joy for generations to come. Something as ephemeral as a few blessed bars of "For the Beauty of the Earth" on a better instrument.
If you want to hear the new organ- it was installed Tuesday-- consider yourself invited to Trinity Lutheran Church for the 10:30 service this Sunday. Hopefully, there's a great line up of songs. And just in time for the Christmas carols!