What is happening on Wednesday nights at St. John’s?
The short story is…there is a gathering of children and their families for the purpose of making music through singing and chiming. Children pre-school age up through adult meet for organized periods of time to learn music theory, the mechanics of singing and chiming, the importance of artistic expression and prepare music to contribute to Sunday worship. There are organized activities for choristers when they’re not in their choir practice. Choirs practice in the Library and Parish Hall, and in this time of COVID they make video recordings of their performances in the Sanctuary that are later projected on the screen during Sunday morning worship.
The long story is…Wednesday nights are actually a fertile field where seeds are being sown! Children, adults and St. John’s staff are cultivating a church community centered in supportive love and a joyful purpose. Children and youth participating in the music ministry are forming bonds with their church and with others that will sustain them through their growing years and ground them as they move out into the world. Many singers and chimers don’t live in the same neighborhoods or attend the same schools, but their church is their “coming together” place, where they are investing in themselves and others positively and also defining an experience that will feel like home to them as they grow. The biggest reward for us as leaders is to see the friendships that are formed in Children’s Choir and Chime Choir stick through Youth Group, Pilgrimage, Confirmation, and beyond. There is an authenticity and love there for which there are no words to describe.
The St. John’s Chime choir has evolved into a multi generational group that supports families making music together, and where young chimers get to see the adults as fellow participants in the joyful purpose of music making! The Children’s Choir light continues to shine – knowing and feeling deeply the difficult choices parents have to make regarding participation in order to keep their children safe. Whether it is 2 or 25 singers present each Wednesday, a joyful noise is made and friendships bloom.
We look so forward to the day when gathering on Wednesday for suppers, music and fellowship doesn’t require weighing risks. But whatever comes and through it all, we remain ever grateful for the amazing opportunity to participate, and for the remarkable resilience and faithfulness of our St. John’s Community.
Wendy Smith, Children’s Choir Director
Chad Smith, Minister of Music