From the Bench

August, 2013

“When we sing, we pray twice”. 

     

I recently returned from a wonderful week in Pittsburgh at the convocation for the Federation of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. The city of Pittsburgh is located on the banks of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, where they join together to form the Ohio River. Therefore, as you can imagine, Pittsburgh is a city of bridges. Someone gave the unbelievable statistic that there are 240 bridges within the metropolitan area. That is a lot of bridges! So, naturally, the theme of this year’s convocation centered on water and bridges: “Inspiration 2013: Bridging our Hearts to the World”.

As in any major city – and small towns too – Pittsburgh has many needs for social justice and services for the poor and homeless. Several of the churches we visited had food banks, daily lunches, and medical services. Our offerings went toward these valuable ministries.

The visual displays on the worship center for each service contained flowing materials in many shades of blue and green to symbolize life-giving water. The candles were placed on a metallic structure that looked like several of the many bridges that we could see from the windows of our buses. As our services progressed throughout the week, we remembered our baptism, were cleansed by the water, confessed our sins and shortcomings, received the grace and forgiveness of God, and finally on our last night together celebrated communion. The music, preaching, and fellowship were inspiring to all those gathered into this 400member community.

For fun, we took a dinner cruise at twilight on the city’s three rivers. The view from the water was magnificent. We saw the stadiums where the Steelers and Pirates play and the Golden Triangle, where the rivers converge. I think we passed under most of those two hundred plus bridges and saw the incline cars that travel on a cable up two of the city’s steepest mountains. A truly inspiring week of worship and renewal and making of friendships.

Hopefully, some of what I experienced will be incorporated into our music program this fall. Therefore, I invite you to come and join our choir as we prepare to lead our congregation atour second service each Sunday. Choir rehearsals are going to be held on MONDAY nights this year at 7pm. All are welcome. We need men and women, high school age and over. The children will once again meet on Sunday mornings at 9:15am. Hope you can fit us into your busy schedule. Our first meeting will be on Monday, September 9th, and will begin with coffee “and” at 7 o’clock.

 

See you in church, in the community, and in the world. Trudy

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