Monday, January 16, 2006

if you want a glimpse into my upbringing, check out this movie.

roomie and i rented it sunday and we were pleasantly surprised. not only was it better than the freaky movie about the rapture i saw back when i was twelve, it wasn't bad.

but, boy, did it put me through a few flashbacks about growing up in church: the loyal assistant pastor overlooked for promotion, the younger pastor protege who's way too ambitious for comfort, the senior pastor struggling to leave a legacy, the angry/supportive pastor's wife, the conflicted pastor's son who ran from the church but keeps coming back to it. yikes - it's totally my adolescence!

(um...and idris elba is h.o.t.)

every time i hear gospel, i realize how much i miss it. i miss singing it. i miss hearing it. i miss how i felt when i sang it - like nothing existed except me and God. that everything about my faith is true*, you know? too bad the Gray Dame doesn't have a kickass gospel lay choir. talk about a way to reach out to the community.

*[not false, but true as in 'sound.']


jesus chick said...

does the church you go to now have awesome music that sets the tone for you to come away feeling like you really communed with god?

ding said...

we're presbyterian.
with a famous pipe organ.

i guess that's awesome...

jesus chick said...

what led you to choose this church?

ding said...

i chose this church because i like it here! i like its intellectual approach; i like the programming; i like its doctrines; i like the pastor(s).

i also chose it because it was the farthest thing from baptist i could get. i really didn't like being a baptist. at all.

my response when i sing gospel is an emotional one - and a physical one. it's almost erotic the high i get. this church doesn't have that erotic high. it's full of people who wear brooks brothers suits. but i don't go to church for emotional highs, you know?

so this one lack, i can live with.

greg said...

Aw ding, you just need to find a church like mine. We are Lutheran, high church. Lots of music, of the Bach and St. Olaf's Choral Series variety. But about once every six months, our choir director (a more staid Norwegian woman you will never meet) finds us a nice gospel song, which we do our best to sing w/ "soul." At the very least, I imagine that you would find it amusing. We have 3 ex-baptists in the choir, so it's not a complete disaster (except when the congregation starts clapping on the down-beat. I think we almost have them cured of that, but....)

john patrick said...

One of my choir director friends just got married, so for her wedding she put together a big fat all-star music program. I sang a prelude myself, directed the choir (it seemed like 70 people) for another prelude and then later a reprise. I was supposed to go back into the baritone section for the ten or so songs directed/led by other people, but the stands were so full there was no way I was getting my big butt up into the stands. I ended up sitting self consciously in a pew reserved for choir directors.

After doing gospel choir, I have very little desire to do any other kind of church music. It can be easily, effectively, and wonderfully written for liturgical purposes; musically speaking, it's a piece of cake; and pastorally speaking it's absolutely accesible and intuitive.

ding said...

there's no one here to even lead a lay gospel choir-lette. the most soul we have is when we have our jazz vespers.

jazz. vespers.

greg said...

Are you making that up?

ding said...

oh, greg. would that i were.

but, no. jazz vespers at the Gray Dame is alive and well. we even have something called taize. i have no idea what that is. i think people sit in a circle.

i'd much rather come and visit your rockin' lutherans.

greg said...

I've heard of Taize. Some of the hymns in our new book are from there (as in The Taize Community, which you can find out about here. Apparently, they are characterized by fairly simple harmonies, over which people are suppose to improvise. There is one women in our church who does this (i.e., improvises harmonies over the hymns). I kind of like it, but many people in the congregration are annoyed by it. Lutherans tend to come from the frozen northlands, and like to have alles in bester Ordnung. I think they generally view "improvise" as a disease, or perhaps a moral failing.

ding said...

people get very self concious about improvisation. what if i go off key? what if people hear me? what if i can't get back to where i was?

improvising requires a certain lack of embarassment. i remember one song i performed with my choir one sunday and i was on one key and they another. took me a whole verse to figure out what was up. we just stopped and started all over. on key.

(my sister laughed her ass off.)