Friday, March 14, 2008

Finding a Voice

The House of Bishops Choir
It has taken me several days to find a means to reflect on my time at the House of Bishops. I was anxious about going, since I don't fit into any of the usual categories these days. I was pleasantly surprised by my colleagues genuine concern and affection. My imagined sense of isolation was just that. We struggled as a House over some very grave issues, listened to each other well and spoke with candor. And when the time came to make hard decisions, we did what was necessary. It was a remarkably positive experience for me, even though I had expected otherwise. That doesn't mean that my employment circumstances have changed, but rather I learned who I am is much more than that.

One of the most supportive and sustaining parts of the House of Bishops, for me, is the choir. Our director, Dent, takes us as we are, and helps us blend and make worship real. Far from a performance, he invites us all to engage the spirit, to listen to one another, to let the music be our response to God's invitation. Some folks have solos from time to time, but we concentrate on being one voice together. We are stronger that way. And so it is for the House of Bishops. My take is that we are growing into a choir, not a house that sings with one voice, but one that blends well, and one that lifts each other up and encourages the whole. We are there for the service of others, and we are growing together in this challenged time when the world perceives an impending schism. Each voice is needed, each is made better by the capacity to blend with others and respond to God together.

I am not sure what the future has in store for me or for the church, I can only say that I have a renewed sense of God in our midst -in the midst of a choir. We each have various skills and capacities, but God's desire is for all of us to harmonize together -not so that every voice is lost - but so that a powerful and greater tune might be heard. I went reluctantly and came home rejoicing in possibility. I was one lone voice and discouraged but I came home hearing music. My prayer today is for each of us to remember that we each have a range, a note, a perspective to share. Only when each note in the chord is voiced does true music and worship happen. Only when we offer what little we have can God transform it into a meal for the masses.

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