Friday, July 18, 2008

As I was saying...

I said all that to say this. Last summer and this summer our choir director decided we should have a summer-long “theme” on rehearsal nights to make attending choir rehearsals more fun in the middle of the hot summer and to attract more attendees during the vacation season. I can’t remember last year’s theme, but this summer the theme is “Around the World in Eighty Days.” Each week there is an emphasis on a different part of the world, complete with food to eat, native clothing to admire, with photographs, maps, and cultural objects on display. The first week we visited Colorado and Wyoming. The second week our destination was China, Japan, Korea and Singapore--complete with fried rice, egg drop soup, and paper lanterns. Since then we’ve visited Australia and Africa, and this week found us in the Middle East (which was expanded to include Greece, Turkey, and Israel).

On Wednesday this week our pre-rehearsal meal consisted of spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo (pronounced “feel-oh”) dough), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) with lemon sauce, gyro (“year-oh”) meat--strips of lamb--with tzaziki sauce, and bakhlava (more phyllo dough with nuts, honey, and I don’t know what all) that came from a local Greek restaurant. The table included a delicious African dish I can’t pronounce made with ground beef and English peas, and a Passover plate from Israel. No Israeli food, just the plate. To wash the goodies down we had the traditional Middle Eastern drinks: Coca-Cola, Sprite, and sweet iced tea. After that, our tummies full, we pulled out our music folders and attempted to have choir rehearsal. Around the room were hung various colorful, embroidered dresses and blouses from Africa, some sort of beaded percussion instrument, and a large Turkish flag.

We’re going to end our trip around the world in a few weeks by spending a winter evening in Vermont. We're not thinking of New England as a mission field necessarily (although there was that person who appeared to me in a dream saying, “Come over to New Hampshire and help us!”), but there needed to be an appropriate location to introduce this year’s Christmas music to the choir.

After the episode with the organ, I am ready for anything.
Even Vermont.


  1. Did this have anything to do with the music you were singing? Or was it just extraneous?

    I guess he (she?) just wanted to give people a reason to give up part of their summer relaxing time.

  2. No, the choir anthem is usually chosen to go along with the subject of the pastor's sermon. But having the weekly theme has been fun, something to look forward to, and attendance has actually picked up during the summer instead of dwindling.

    And the director is a "she."

  3. mouth's agape.....I can't imagine being in a church where choir is a big deal, with rehearsal themes and such, and actually sings during the summer! From my angle, you're an alternate universe. I'm happy for you!!

  4. Jeannelle, in every church I've ever attended, choir has gone on year-round. When now and then someone would suggest a summer break, the answer has always been "Jesus didn't take a vacation, and neither do we."

    It would seem downright odd to me to be in a church without a choir, but many places nowadays have eliminated the choir and just have a "praise team" on the platform.

    Thanks for reminding me to count my blessings.

  5. Don't forget about the Hawaiian theme night you missed when you were in Alabama...something about a kalukalukahinahena?!?