Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Last week I had the wonderful privilege of hosting our talented St. John’s choir at my home in Boxford for an end-of-the-year Choir Party. Most of the choir and their significant others were able to be there and we had a delightful time eating, talking, laughing and catching up with each other after a successful program year. Several of them were impressed with the “meditation marsh” in my back yard and threatened to return unannounced some morning for birdwatching! The choir is a gift to this congregation and their music each Sunday enhances, or even facilitates, our experience of the Divine.
This past Sunday I participated in a planning meeting of the St. John’s Concert Series. The Concert Series is a series of free concerts, open to the public, held throughout the year on Sunday afternoons in the sanctuary. There are a number of dedicated parishioners who work to ensure the success of the concerts. Those at the meeting came up with a variety of exciting concert possibilities for the upcoming year in order to appeal to a wide audience. Both the choir and the Concert Series are under the talented leadership of our Music Minister, Frances Fitch. I am grateful for her experience and ability to do both well.
Since I first arrived at St. John’s, I have been impressed with your appreciation for and commitment to good music. It is one of your charisms. Not everyone experiences God in exactly the same way. Part of the role of a church is to find a number of “access points” to Christ for its flock. Music is, for many of you, one of those thin places where you readily experience the Spirit. One exercise that many find helpful is to intentionally ask the question: how do I most easily feel the presence of God? And there usually is more than one answer. I invite all of you to ask yourself the question – and keep coming to church to hear the music and experience God!
You are very dear to me and to God in Christ.