From the Pastor - April 2019
I am writing this article just after the Sunday when I talked about how often I see people withdraw from their family of faith when they need the love of their faith family and assurance of the love and presence of God the most. This is what I said:
Life is often messy. It is rarely perfect, no matter how it looks from the outside. On any given day, we have lots of stuff going on. And if we don’t, we can be sure that we are surrounded by people who do. When our lives are in shambles – when the chaos of life overwhelms – what do we do? The really scary thing to me is that I often see people I love simply withdraw.
When some of our families are in chaos due to marital challenges or financial troubles or challenges with the kids, or even when there has been a death, often I see them withdraw. Maybe they are ashamed because their life isn’t perfect – or they think that if anyone knew they were having challenges they would be judged by the very people who should be available to love them even more – their faith family. Maybe they are afraid that they will become emotional and shed a few tears during worship. Maybe they fear that they will fall asleep during the sermon because they are so bone weary. Maybe they can’t face sitting in a pew where they always sat with their beloved. And maybe there are a million other reasons that they isolate themselves.
Mostly, I am guessing that it’s to protect the veneer that most of us carefully construct to show the world how fine we are – how well we are doing – maybe even how blessed we are.
When we need God the most. When we need the unconditional love of our faith family.
Another side of that, though, is that when you don’t have the opportunity to be in significant relationship with people who share your faith journey, it can be almost impossible to open up when there is a life challenge facing you.
This fall, we will be offering a special and unusual opportunity for YOU to participate in an event that just might provide the environment to build relationships, sing your heart out, and dive deep in the biblical story.
The Event – A Special Musical Opportunity – for ANYONE who likes to sing or play an instrument (in the category of "we've probably never done it this way before")
For several months I've been gripped with a call to revive a musical that I did with my choir some years ago, so I talked with Bill, and we are in one accord.
The musical is called The Apostle and is a musical version of the life and ministry of Paul - and it was FUN and memorable. What does that have to do with you, you ask? Well, I would like to gather as many of our musical folks -- choir members, non-choir members, instrumentalists of all stripes, from 10 to 90 years young, everyone who likes to sing or would like to participate in the dramatic bits throughout (or who might like to offer some refreshments afterward) -- to come together to present this musical. But wait -- there's more! As we are preparing the musical, we will also engage in a congregational study and worship series based on Paul's life and ministry. The plan is to read through the music twice before rehearsals begin. I’ve met with all of our music directors, and we now have a schedule ready to announce.
Read-Throughs – roughly 90 minutes each, in the Sanctuary, with the purpose of just getting acquainted with the musical (bring a snack if you need one):
Sunday, June 9, 11:45 am AND Sunday, July 14, 11:45 am
Normal Rehearsals – begin on August 14, 6 to 6:55 pm each Wednesday through October 9.
Dress Rehearsals with full Instrumentation:
Sunday, October 6, 1:15 pm AND Saturday, October 12, 4 pm
Presentation: Sunday, October 13, 10 am worship – one service only
Printed music and practice CDs are available now.
Please sign up in the Narthex if you are interested in this so that we can prepare and give you a set of materials -- an all-RUMC-faith-family event!
*We will be joined by several members of the Covenant UMC (Gaithersburg) choir who presented this same event for their congregation several years ago and are very excited to do it again. It leaves an impression!