Sunday, March 27, 2011

Well who knew? Peter Mayer in concert is EXHAUSTING!!

I had no idea that a fabulous Peter Mayer concert in my own church would just wring the everything right out of me!

No, don't get me wrong, it was absolutely the most amazing concert I've even seen.

Peter opened with a prayer in song, singing the first verse of "Blue Boat Home" a capella. That was holy right there. But then he went on for another couple of hours. I cried and cried at "Japanese Bowl" where he talks about how the broken parts of Japanese potter are filled with gold, pretty sure he wasn't just talking about ancient bowls. And then he sang about "Driving With My Knee" and the trio of little girls behind me were all loving the music. Then "Jamma Day"? They were all over that one, too. Then when Peter asked if we were up for singing with him and an eight year old said "Yeah!" and he noted that he had one singer for sure, well then I was totally gone.

Talking about walking to meet his future in-laws after the snow storm of the century and realizing that that was the storm that we had when our oldest was 10 days old? Yeah, that one put me over the top.

Singing "Blue Boat Home" with Peter, while standing in the sanctuary that I have seen transform with paint and carpet and re-situated pews--that I've seen blessed with joy and holidays and sorrow--Peter singing the harmony while the gathered people sang the melody. By this time I was not even in my mind any longer--just a soul riding along with the beauty and community and love.

Then Peter came back for an encore. I'm sorry to admit...the two songs that the audience called out that Peter finally settled on? One was from me,and one was from my youngest son. But oh my, they were good songs to end with. Peter explained the story behind the song "Tandem Lives" and I now finally understand why the song always makes me cry. It should. It's a beautiful story, not my story so I won't tell it, but one of those stories mixed up with sweet and sour, love and sadness and the things in life that in the end really matter.

Then we sang "Where is the Light" which ends with "This Little Light of Mine" and we danced and sang--our young and old together.

I'm happy. He could have played all night and it still wouldn't have been enough for me. But he's lovely. He noticed the fedora my son was wearing and called him "hat guy" and signed his new guitar pick necklace. I mean really, this 14-year-old has Peter Mayer on his ipod, it's gotta feel pretty good!

It's not quite the intensity of hearing "Holy Now" for the very first time in the adobe chapel in the foothills of the rockies, sitting on the bench seats, early morning sun streaming in. Not sure anything can ever match the depth of spiritual connection that the group of religious educators who were spending a week together shared in that moment. But it was holy. And as wiped out as I feel? Well, I do feel completely whole! Blessings!

And Amen.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

So Excited. Eeeeee!

Oh I am so excited. I can't believe the day has finally arrived! I can hardly sit still and I am not able to get anything at all done!

The Peter Mayer concert is tonight! TONIGHT!

I hope he plays:

Holy Now
The Hat Song
John's Garden
Church of the Earth
Tandem Life
Blue Boat Home

God is River

well......we'll just have to stay til 2AM.

I am bringing my dear oldest son who has been home for the week on spring break. He loves folk and guitar. I'm bringing my youngest son who plays guitar and (shhhhh) actually has the whole Heaven album on his ipod and his friend who is a wicked blues guitar man and will love the guitar. And I'm also kind of dragging my husband and middle son who can't very well stay home and MISS the fun! They're not big folk fans, but Peter is so fun and engaging in person, I'm sure they'll have a great evening.

Oh I can't wait. I wish I could be at church for the sound checks and prep! But we have to go grab the youngest from a day of rehearsal before we can go. That's OK, the anticipation is good, too!

Here's the one that's been going through my head all day:


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Definitive Hymns of Chilhood

When I was a little girl growing up in a little fellowship in Minnesota, this was the hymn that we sang when there was a big reason to sing--like Easter, or a special service like our most holy water communion.

I think for this generation of children the "go to" hymn is this one:

Before our little church on the hill in Settle even had a paid music director, we put a group together a group to accompany this hymn for a visit from Gini Courter (UUA Moderator), and now years later, we have a first class music director and choir, and we still sing it for our special celebrations. I think congregations across the continent sing it for special days.

And in just a few days, Peter Mayer is going to come and SING with us in our own beautiful holy space! Oh please don't let me gush too badly. I am so excited! I can't wait. Can't WAIT!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have picked the absolute worst time on the planet to get sick. Completely. If I had pulled up my google calendar and said "hmmmmmm.....when can I find the worst weekend to get sick, let's see" this would have been it.

Bad timing.

This was the kind of  sickness that makes you want to scrape out your lungs with one of those plastic scrapers that come with stone cook wear. And it makes you wish you could just sleep but the stupid cough wakes you up again and again and again. And you just wish you could fast forward a week until you're just a little tired in the evening and you've almost caught up on your work.

No luck.

Here's the thing; a Director of Religious Education can't just call in sick. Stuff needs to happen. Programs don't just stop. And here's  the other thing-- the people I work with are absolutely lovely, and everything that needed to happen, happened. People just stepped up and rolled up their sleeves and said "of course I can help". My church community is overflowing with the most giving and caring group of people who have ever worked hard on church work, ever. This is what I wish for people who have been wounded by church, I wish that they could experience this kind of church. The church of love and care and faith and hope.

Bless you, Westside folks. You make it so easy to love my crazy, impossible job. Bless you all!