Rev. Dr. Amy Butler of Riverside Church in New York has this powerful reflection to offer about singing in community. Read on and let us know what you think.
Last Sunday I stood at the front of the church, as I do most weeks, to welcome the community to worship. After I finished my remarks, I made my way to my seat on the side of the chancel to await the beginning of the opening hymn. The organ began to play and I stood with the congregation to sing the opening hymn:
Baptized in one confession,
One church in all the earth.
The architecture of our church is such that there is significant space between the chancel and the congregation, a canyon that sometimes feels impossibly wide. For the necessary community-building work of worship, especially in our congregational polity, this distance can be disconcerting. I am always looking for ways to bridge the gap, to establish a connection, to be myself among the worshipping congregation.
Last Sunday in particular I felt that distance sharply as I heard the…
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