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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/24/13 12:17 A

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Enjoy your day off...I worked this morning--only moderately crazy with 14 crawlers/toddlers in the nursery :).
It probably is psychological--or a preference...I have like soft and cuddly things for as long as I can remember...I also feel uncovered in the summer, although in my case, I think it is my narrow shoulders that just don't do well with some ofthe summer necklines...sigh...

Choir tomorrow night...but no children's choir, so will have a little extra time with my own little ones.

Have a good night!

Lori

HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/23/13 9:52 A

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I suppose it is psychological, but I find being all cuddled up and covered up comforting. I start feeling exposed come spring and summer, but maybe that has to do with being fat!

I can understand children wanting to change thier sports activities after months of a steady diet of snow related ones. Ah the joy of youth.

I'm off today, so relaxing.

HONOURIA (carol)



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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/22/13 10:34 P

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Same here, Honouria!

People say, "Oh, you're one of THOSE" becaue I'm not annoyed by the continued winter weather. I don't like being hot, love the beauty of the snow, and enjoy wearing my snuggly sweaters, so winter suits me just fine! However, I do have a house full fo boys who are EAGER to get back to track and baseball practices, which we have not been able to begin yet this year. And we are having more snow now, so no track practice tonight or baseball tomorrow night either.They are saying 6-10" here by morning...

Well, no special event rehearsals this week, so that will cut down on the potential cancellations. And it's not supposed to be cold enough for this snow to say long, so I doubt there will be any problem with our usual Wed. rehearsal.

Well, I have quite a bit of cleaning to do around here, since I was gone all day, so I better go for now.

Lori

HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/20/13 8:10 P

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Hi Lori,
I love the snow too. When I say that, people roll their eyes and think I'm weird. But really, don't like being hot! And anyway, I find winter beautiful.

honouria

HONOURIA (carol)



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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/20/13 4:38 P

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Yes--this weather is rather unusual...flurries are not uncommon up to mid-may, but to have snow that sticks and accumulates is rare this late into April. It has been sunny here since yesterday, so it's melting pretty fast. I like the snow, so it doesn't bother me to have it come so late into the spring...and when it does, it melts before it gets dirty, so I've seen some great snow photos!
I hope everyone's Sunday music goes well tomorrow!

Lori

HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/19/13 3:15 P

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Holy Smokes - when does spring start in MN? Wow! We've lost all our snow, the birdies are here, and the tempurature is rising. Mind, I can remember one year when we had a foot of snow on May 1rst.



HONOURIA (carol)



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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/18/13 11:03 P

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Honouria--thanks for your kind words. I'm so glad your choir practice went well last night. Ours did too...I was SO tired at the beginning of the evening because my oldest son ended up being forgotten at his day program by his staff, and I had to wake my little ones to go get him...so, moody little boys and less time to get myself staged for a long evening had me rather frazzled. But our extended kids' choir rehearsal went well, and I got energized by them, so I was ready for the sanctuary choir rehearsal. Tonight was supposed to be a contemporary worship choir rehearsal (we do a Christmas musical and sing with the worship team in the contemporary services a few times/year) but we got snowed out! So, both the rehearsal and Sunday singing are canceled and it will just be the worship leader and band. It's a little disappointing, but hopefully we will be rescheduled soon.

Mary Beth--glad you got cleared by your doc! After my surgery 6 years ago, it felt good to get back into music and to have better mobility! And I started walking, which was great for my weight and health! Hopefully, the end of your recovery will go smoothly and you will also enjoy your return to more music ministry.

I don't know all the details on different churches, but know that some have totally local governance (the one I go to now does) and some churches/pastore report more to a head office. If your minister reports to superiors, that may be part of the motivation for her to try more modern music. Or maybe, it's a 'burst of energy' prior to retirement. Or maybe modern music is on her bucket list...it's hard to know what another person has in mind, so I pray that you can meet together and get more info.

Well, I am just about falling asleep and I still need to shovel the snow (yup--that's right! We have about 5" and it's still comng down.

Lori

QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
4/18/13 10:00 P

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Way to go!
Sometimes we just have to learn to "Let Go and Let God".
So, I have yet to hear back from the Minister for a time that she and I can get together to discuss music. I believe she is around 67 years old and readying for retirement after she completes her term in this church. So, yes I find it interesting that she would want to go more modern. I like that she has introduced some nice rituals with this congregation as they are something which comes from a Catholic background.
Well, I saw my specialist today and have received the OK to go back to work in a couple of weeks, so I shall see what happens upon my return to this church.

MaryBeth from Ontario


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HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/18/13 2:18 P

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Well Lori, you get huge points up there for being an encouraging Christian "out there" .
Isn't it amazing what God can do when we turn our focus to him, in spite of the apparent cost to us?

Edited by: HONOURIA at: 5/22/2013 (17:49)
HONOURIA (carol)



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4/17/13 11:08 P

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Honouria,
I hope you are using rebuke in a positive sense, and that you didn't feel like I was scolding because that was not my intent...I will add that I struggled for quite a while during the time our previous director was at our church...it felt like I had been ousted from the soprano section and was quite hurtful...I think I cried every Sunday for months...and I had to decide if it was harder to sing or to not sing...so, I think it is a personal decision. now that we have a different director, I'm really glad I stayed. I have to say--sometimes I decide what to do based on which of the hard choices I am least likely to regret...sometimes life is just hard, even in the church.

Our Pastor ends every worship service by challenging us with "you are the living church--out there"...a good challenge, but sometimes I wish we would look more closely at how we treat each other within the church, and how that translates to our ability to encourage others 'out there'...and other times, I am SO proud to be a part of our congregation. This year, in my children's choir, I have more distressed little ones that I have before...and some of their behaviors really show that...and when one of our adult choir members took time to hug my little one who acts out most dangerously, it was SO encouraging...and I try to keep remembering those little things that remind me of the good things happening in our church.

Praying that your choir practice was pleasant tonight!

Lori

HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/17/13 4:58 P

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Lori,
You are absolutely right. If I look to the Lord I have a clear direction here Thank you!

Edited by: HONOURIA at: 5/22/2013 (17:48)
HONOURIA (carol)



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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/17/13 8:25 A

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Hi everyone,
It's interesting to hear about the churches in Canada...similar to the US, but with some differences as well. Most of the churches in the US are quite small, but that tends to go somewhat unnoticed and larger churches get more attention. I was mostly in smaller churches until we moved to MN.

Honouria--sorry about the stress you are feeling in choir...it's hard when you don't feel like you have much of a connection to the people you partner with in worship music. Personally, I think we could make much less emphasis on where we sit in choir and just focus on God. I do understand the director tyring different arrangements in order ot achieve the best sound...I guess I would pray for the director to keep trying different things, and hope that the next seating arrangement suits you better. I also am a soprano in the alto section of our choir--a result of seating woes, and a few other complications. I found that I had to decide what I valued most, and focus on that. It was quite sad at first, and there are times that I really miss soprano (like when we sing the Hallelujah Chorus!), but I seem to have found a niche in the alto section, so there I stay. Our director played around with the seating last year...lots of complaints, and some people just sat where they wanted to anyway...I've never been enough of a rebel to go against the director, so I try to just sit in my seat and sing :). I hope things go better for you tonight!

We have a dress rehearsal for the Children's choir musical tonight, so it will be pretty busy for me!

Well, my preschooler is up and wanting breakfast, so I better go!

Lori

HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/17/13 12:06 A

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I do understand about the 3pt charge, and small rural. I live in a rural area myself, but happen to be in a town.

Hm..I wonder then, given the information you just gave me, why the minister is wanting modern music. Doesn't seem to make any sense if the congregation isn't, and the resources are not really there. That doesn't sound sensible. Do you know why? How old is the minister? Maybe find out more of what and why he/she wants? You can at least do that safely, as you will look interested in what they want and need. No threat to them. I don't think that they can ask you for what you cannot reasonably do.

Hope this helps some.

Edited by: HONOURIA at: 5/22/2013 (17:47)
HONOURIA (carol)



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QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
4/16/13 10:30 P

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Honouria,
You seem to be in a tough position with the choir. Changes are hard to accept but I guess you have to kinda go along with what the director wants. Sometimes they try different things to get a better sense of the blending. Kinda weird to have the piano inbetween the two sections. Does she like having you sing towards each other to hear the parts? I think most directors would want you to practise like you would be seated when you actually perform in church. Do the men and women come back together before the end of the evening to put all parts together? Try not to lose sleep over this Honouria, or go crazy with food. I'm not so sure that leaving the choir totally is the answer. Give it a little bit of time and maybe things will change again. And, if in the long run it does not work out, then I am sure there are many other churches who are looking for good altos to join their choir.

As for your response to me - there isn't anyone that I know of who would be willing to direct the choir. The pianist that I work with is about ten years older than me and she would like to semi-retire. Another choir member plays piano and she has been helping out while I have been off. I've only worked with her as she sang in the choir so we would have to get used to each other instrumentally. I've been told there is another congregation member who has her grades in music so maybe I will talk to her and see if she has any interest in choir. Any anthems I use that are piano oriented I get the pianist to learn to play and I concentrate on teaching the parts and perhaps doing an organ fill in to help the choir along. The choir I have are older people and they pretty much rely on being able to hear their parts in the accompaniment. I have one choir member who is a professional singer but she likes more classical stuff.
As for young people, well there are only a couple of teenagers and maybe five or six younger kids. Don't know of any guitarists, etc. but I will ask around. I really don't see this church as becoming 'non traditional and modernistic' simply because of the older congregation and only a couple of young families involved. Oh, there is an older couple who play violin and piano together but they are more 'jamboree' style. I've asked them to do something in church sometime but they seem to like sitting back and listening.
You have to keep in mind that the church I am working with is in a small rural village. They used to be a three point charge but two of the churches closed and that's why this one is staying alive because some of those people came in. I always found it strange that the United Church of Canada had all these little churches spread around the county.

MaryBeth from Ontario


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HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/16/13 4:58 P

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Mary Beth:
With regards to your situation, below - why don't you get the pianist to do the more modern pieces, and you do the more traditional ones? That way the minister gets what she wants, and you can direct the choir for the modern pieces. Can you get somebody to direct the choir while you play the more traditional pieces on the organ?

I assume that the minister wants more modern pieces in order to try to attact more young people to the church. That unfortunately is difficult to do unless you have some young people in the church who can play musical instruments. Do you? Even a guitar? Any young people at all? That might help. A couple of guitarists and a drummer and you are set. Don't feel guilty about the pianist not being paid. In a lot of churches now the only person being paid is the organist/director. The congregation members play musical instruments for free. If you could swing that, you'd have your modern music problem solved. Ask around. A flutest, a clarinetist, a harpist? There have to be some people kicking around playing instruments. Invite them to come play! You have what they want - the authority to give them an audience.

First find out if there is anybody. You might then have to run that idea by the minister.

Sorry but that is just me free thinking. Hope that helps out any.

Oh - do you have any singers who like to sing modern tunes?
blessings,
honouria


Edited by: HONOURIA at: 4/17/2013 (15:05)
HONOURIA (carol)



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HONOURIA's Photo HONOURIA Posts: 1,324
4/16/13 2:27 P

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Edited by: HONOURIA at: 5/22/2013 (17:46)
HONOURIA (carol)



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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/11/13 11:10 P

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Yes, church politics are difficult...and it seems like small churches easily become entrenched...
Sorry about those past hurts--me too, but for other reasons. It can be hard to know what to say, when to say it and how to phrase it at times...and I think the control issue is quite frustrating, at least for me. I just want to serve and worship, I'm not really much of a performer, but am totally at home in worship ministry, so I'd just prefer not to get embroiled in the control issues. But, just like you and I have fear of being hurt, those controlling people have fear of not getting 'their' way...and sometimes, they really believe that they are trying to control for God's way, so it is easy for it to become about who is 'holier' even though God sees us all the same.

On the positive side--it sounds like people really care, so you don't have the challenge of trying to motivate apathy.

Lori

QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
4/11/13 9:49 P

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Thanks Lori. I guess my biggest problem is 'fear'. I have had problems in the past with other churches that I worked at. It was such as: someone having different expectations about music ministry, an inability to accept my background of Catholicism, or another musical person trying to take over control. And when I was 'let go' it seemed to be such a secretive thing with the congregation - some committee made the decision. There have been a lot of hurts in the past, and I am trying hard to avoid that hurt happening to me again. Church politics are not easy to deal with. I do know that if I have a problem working things out with the Minister in this church that there is a ministry and personnel committee that I can go to for mediation. I have been organist/choir director at this church for about eight years now. The longest standing position I had before this in a Protestant church was for five years, so I am doing well. I just do not want to see too much more friction between myself and this current Minister, or it may cause one of us to have to leave the church. I have a hard time hiding my feelings in front of the choir. I'm sure the Minister is not even remotely aware of my issue because I try to be nice in my words and in my actions.
Thanks for your prayers and support.

MaryBeth from Ontario


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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,731
4/10/13 11:44 P

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Well, I am currently in a large church, so only a bit that relates here...
We have a worship pastor, who leads 2 contemporary services. We also have a traditional music director, who leads the traditional worship service. The traditional pastor is older, and a bit better at coordinating with the Sr. Pastor. The contemporary pastor does meet with the Sr. pastor, but I' not sure how much collaborating they do.

When I was in a smaller church (way back in college--choir was about 15 or fewer members), the music director collaborated with the Pastor, and they planned hymns together. The music director usually chose the anthems, with some input from the pastor. They worked together to add some contemporary music in the, but moved slowly and ended up with more of a blended worship service.

As for wisdom in handling your situation--I don't really have answers, but it really sounds like you have a touchy situation. It's probably made harder by the fact that you have been out on leave and not as actively involved. Small churches can be difficult to navigate because people tend to be quite invested in what makes them comfortable--which can also be a great advantage, because people who are invested in the church are usually willing to work together for a common good.

I'll pray for you in this hard situation!

Lori

QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
4/10/13 8:17 P

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I am of Roman Catholic faith and go to Mass on Saturday nights. We have a music committee that gets together throughout the year to do hymn planning according to the Lectionary.
On Sundays, I am orgainist/choir director at a small town United Church. I have a wonderful choir of 12 people who like to keep things simple because most of them have very limited knowledge of music. I like to choose from a variety of music for anthems- some old, some new, some very familiar. The choir sings an anthem every Sunday because I choose to have them do so, and I mostly follow the Lectionary readings for music planning.
SO, here's what I would like to know from other musicians - do you work along with the pastor/minister when you do your music planning? Most ministers I have dealt with have done the choosing of the hymns but not the anthems. I am currently dealing with a Minister who likes to sing but really is not too knowledgeable on music - sometimes she will turn around and tell me that I am playing a hymn too fast or too slow; if its a song that she absolutely loves then she can be heard trying to lead the congregation, rather than the choir doing the leading. Then there are times when she leaves me notes as to what she would like the choir to sing and when. She is trying hard to modernize the liturgy, but we are dealing with an aging congregation - there are very few younger people attending this small village church. I know I need to sit down and talk with her about my feelings, but of course this is not an easy task. I have been on a leave of absence due to surgery and plan to go back in May. The Reverend has now requested the two of us get together to talk about the anthems, and she wants to go more modern. I'm afraid I am a little bit old fashioned when it comes to music, but I do like variety. I am not an overly accomplished musician and there is only so much I can handle, and same with the choir members. I play the organ and do have a pianist that plays along with me. Sometimes I make the pianist work very hard on an anthem and I just do some fill-in with the organ. And, the pianist is a volunteer church member - I am the paid musician (not a very high salary though). Sometimes having a pianist can free me up to do a little bit of choir directing, as I find it hard to play the organ and direct at the same time.
Anyway I seem to be going on and on. Got any wise thoughts for me??

MaryBeth from Ontario


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QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
4/9/13 11:37 P

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This is a thread where you can share any problem you are having in your music ministry, and for members to respond by sharing their experience, strength and hope.

MaryBeth from Ontario


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