Music Notes

Feb. 6th, 2019
From the Podium
I was one of the untold millions watching the Super Bowl last night. It seems that I'm in agreement with the majority of opinions that I was seeing on Twitter and Facebook during the game, and that I've heard on the day after the game. Something about the whole event was The game wasn't the greatest in terms of exciting plays (however, I love defensive games), the commercials weren't as funny or unique, and the halftime show lacked some of the spectacle and flash of past performances. Looking at the experience objectively, it wasn't horrible,it just didn't match expectations. And when things don't meet our expectations, or a preconceived notion of how things should be, well, that's when the grumbling starts.

There's a sneaky little part of all of us that likes to create narratives and expectations of how things should look, feel, work, etc. That's not a problem in itself, but the problem arises when we begin to believe that the narrative we construct is the rock-solid truth. Then, any variance from the scenario we've constructed causes us to become frustrated with anything and anyone who doesn't understand how the script is being ruined. The gospels contain one example after another of expectations being challenged, destroyed, and rewritten by Jesus. We've all heard this for years, and immediately look at the Pharisees and even the disciples as either bad guys or fools for not noticing the Messiah that was standing right in front of them. But they didn't enter the scene as bad guys. They were just people with expectations and narratives into which the sort of Messiah that Jesus was just didn't fit.

We're no different. We often place expectations of how God should act, and are disappointed when God doesn't seem to understand how important it is to us to "keep to the script". We pray for something that doesn't happen the way we wanted and assume that God doesn't answer prayer. We seek God in worship and are disappointed when God doesn't show up in the way we expected. Unfortunately, we may miss an appearance of God right in front of us. Sometimes God shows up in a person with whom we vehemently disagree on most things. Or perhaps God appears through a song that we just can't stand. The thing to remember is that God is not obligated to act, speak, or move in the ways we prescribe for him. God calls us today just as he did all of those people that Jesus came in contact with: Keep an open mind. Consider carefully that the world may not work the way you think it should, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Just different.

So as we walk through this long discipleship journey, just enjoy the game. Sing along at halftime even though you may not like the band. And be grateful that God is faithful to listen to us, but is not bound by our expectations. God has more in store for us than our limited imagination could ever expect.

Chancel and Worship Choirs

Worship Choir and Chancel Choir - You are both singing with the Youth Choir this Sunday. I'm excited about this opportunity to combine the talents of all three choirs. We will be singing "I Will Rise". Just be aware that some people may have to share music. We'll have enough so that everyone can see, but there may have to be some shared books.

Paul Garrison has two tickets for the Feb. 16th performance of "To Kill a Mockingbird" at the Oak Ridge Playhouse. The performance is at 8:00, and the tickets are $24.00 each. Simply let Paul or me know if you are interested in them or know someone who is.

Chancel Choir and Worship Choir - Just in case you didn't see the iConnect item last week, the Tennessee Tech University Choir will be with us on Ash Wednesday, March 6th. They are seeking host homes for 23 males and 23 females. If you can host some of these young people, please let me know.
Youth Choir

  • Thanks to everyone for a fun rehearsal yesterday afternoon. We will be singing this Sunday, Feb. 10th at both traditional services. We will be joining forces with the Worship Choir at 8:45 and the Chancel Choir at 11:00. I'm counting on you to help "lead" this song since the Worship Choir especially hasn't had a chance to work on it. We will start rehearsal at 8:00 on Sunday morning. I know that's early, but there will be some Krispy Kreme doughnuts here to help get some sugar into you before we sing. They will be ready to go at 8:00.
  • We will have our normal rehearsal at 4:00 this Sunday afternoon. We need to start compiling our tour program.
  • As you know, Student Ministries is transitioning into including the confirmation class into all youth activities. That can be a little confusing in terms of youth choir participation, so I wanted to clear things up a little. For this year things will stay exactly as they are in youth choir - it will be grades 7-12. However next year we will be incorporating 6th graders into youth choir. It will be a little bit of a transition, and things may be a little different for a bit, but it will make for much more continuity if all of the student ministries activities, including youth choir, are all in line with each other.
Other Musical Ensembles

Thursday Night Ringers - We are back in action this Thursday! I've missed all of you and look forward to getting back together.

Concord Bells - After a Super Bowl break we'll be back to our regular time this Sunday night.

Concord Men's Ensemble - I'll see everyone this Sunday night at 6:00.
  Looking Ahead

Wednesday, Feb. 6th

7:00 - Chancel Choir rehearsal

Thursday, Feb. 7th

6:00 - Wesley Bells rehearsal

Sunday, Feb. 10th

8:45 - Youth Choir with Worship Choir - "I Will Rise"

11:00 - Youth Choir with Chancel Choir - "I Will Rise"

4:00 - Youth Choir rehearsal

6:00 - Concord Men's Ensemble rehearsal

7:00 - Concord Bells rehearsal

Wednesday, Feb. 13th

7:00 - Chancel Choir rehearsal

Thursday, Feb. 14th

6:00 - Wesley Bells rehearsal

Sunday, Feb. 17th

8:45 - Worship Choir - TBA

11:00 - Chancel Choir - "Festive Praise" with Concord Brass

4:00 - Youth Choir rehearsal

6:00 - Concord Men's Ensemble

7:00 - Concord Bells

Prayer Concerns and Celebrations

  • Shelby Berkley (Hannah's husband) has a birthday on Thursday, Feb. 7th.
  • Amanda Taylor's birthday is on Friday, Feb. 8th.
  • Anna Castleberry also has a birthday on Friday, Feb. 8th.
  • Claudia and I celebrate 27 years of marriage on Friday, Feb. 8th.
  • Tom Warnick's birthday is Saturday, Feb. 9th.
  • Jonathan Stallings' birthday is Sunday, Feb. 10th.
  • Jack Wilson's birthday is Monday, Feb. 11th.
  • Leora Berry's birthday is also on Monday, Feb. 11th.

Joan De Tar is recovering well from knee surgery.

Mike Stallings
(865) 966-6728 (o.)
(865) 719-3469 (c.)