John and Racheal are at the far end of the room in the sound booth, while Rev. Dale and I take our places on stage.
He on one side and me on the other.
“Okay, we are live,” John says from the booth, and so Rev. Dale and I start playing our opening number, “My Soul Is Welcome Here.”
Since we began the online streaming, we have shortened things, mostly our songs. They are shorter and we play less songs, and obviously we have no congregational singing, because there are only 4 of us present.
I usually sing, “My Soul Is Welcome Here” along with everyone else, but after we have gone through the song once and then we start the second time, that is when I back off the mic, gesture to the congregation, and they take over.
There really isn’t a word that I am aware of to truly describe how that feels.
When the entire room is singing with everything they’ve got, and clapping and dancing, and everyone is happy, and now, “I” am not doing the song, “WE” are doing the song.
It is a joyous time and a unifying time, when we all come together as one in Spirit.
But today, we get to that point in the song, and I look out into the empty chairs and I can hear you, I can even see you,
but nobody is there.
I almost fall flat. Maybe I’m gonna cry. We have done this every week since mid-March, but today it really sticks me deep.
At our church, everybody sings. We do our upbeat congregational’s and our slow congregational’s and in my mind, that is mostly what my job is, as the music minister. It is to involve everyone, to move everyone, to create an atmosphere of Oneness and Unity, where for this few minutes, we are all joined together in song.
It is a connection that is the most marvelous thing I know.
And it turns out that this is the thing that I personally miss the most during this time of pandemic and social distancing.
My people. My church. My experience of coming together in song with everyone.
Rev. Dale probably doesn’t know I’m about to fall off the cliff, so I just continue through and moments later he takes the helm to welcome all of our viewers.
And we offer what we can.
Greenville, Myrtle Beach, the annual Kanuga Conference, Athens, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and many other towns and church’s where I have had the honor of leading, but truth be told, once you all start singing, I just soak it all in.
This is my blessing. My gift. This is what I do. For you, and for me.
For now, I do a Facebook Live concert every Wednesday on my personal page. 8:30 is the start time, and this has turned out to be a blessing. People from all over come to hang out and chat with me, and request songs and I tell funny stories from life, and… this is actually better than a lot of the gigs I play. Much more enjoyable.
And of course we do our weekly live stream from Unity of Savannah every Sunday at 11. Rev. Dale has done a great job at adapting to this drastic change. He and I both are performers, we feed off the crowd.
Maybe television people are used to not having a live audience, but we are. So hats off to Rev. Dale for all his efforts to make this change and to try and keep our connection strong while we are apart.
In any case, it has been too long since, my last blog, and things are changing in my life a great deal, and…
I just wanted to let ya know that I miss ya!