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Its Easter 2 - the second Sunday in the Easter season. I do feel the joy of Easter, and am so thankful for all of the music and performing arts that we can access on the internet. This week, Jessica Bessette has recorded a short trumpet rendition of "You Are Holy, You Are Whole" for our offertory in online worship. Her daughters, Julia and Jordan Bessette, recorded a version of "Wade in the Water" for the prelude/postlude. This is awesome! That we can begin to bring more people into leading music in worship - while online. But it's different. And there are others working on music to record for this purpose. Please keep them in prayer. So today, I encourage you to go to our Youtube Channel, St Paul Lutheran Church Aiken SC - and worship with us at 10 am or later, if needed. And to inspire you further, go here and know that many of us are praying for you - for all who visit this page and blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc8CCIuxXJ4 The text is Do
Holy Week 2020  Its Maundy Thursday - and last Sunday, we began finding new ways to worship as the community of St Paul Lutheran Church. Tonight, we worshiped online via a link that was posted on our webpage. Tomorrow night - Good Friday Tenebrae will also be a worship opportunity via a link on our webpage. There will be music of different eras and genres.  Easter Sunday will also be worship via a link from our webpage - www.stpaullc.net I grieve a bit - as the musicians from St Paul and I discuss how we can find ways to use them one at a time - instead of all of us together. Yet I rejoice in these brothers and sisters who love the world so much they agree to stay safe and stay home. I also grieve for all those who suffer in our current public health crisis. For those who have died, or lost loved ones. For the health care workers and responders who are hardly home as they do the work we need them to do so that we can all survive. With this in mind, I will be posting a music
Today worship changed a little more - this is our second Sunday of Virtual Worship. While live streaming is something we have done for some time, today was different. Today 3 choir folks came in to be our Trio for the duration of this time of virtual worship. 2 of these singers have husbands helping with the streaming technology - and the third is a young adult. I am using as few households as possible to keep the numbers as minimal as possible for our worship musicians. All of us have made a covenant to practice safe health practices - keeping safe distance from others, washing our hands frequently, sanitizing as much as possible when we cannot wash and not encountering others or other places any more than necessary. We are limiting ourselves so that we can not only go forward in our best health, but so not as to possibly pass something on to someone else; so that we can serve through our living and also in this way of music in worship. It is holy work that our world is doing. It
Online Worship Only! While I am not happy that we are all so very separated - I am thankful for everyone who is trying to work together to stay well, to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. Meanwhile, a very small group will gather Sunday, March 22nd to provide virtual worship for the St Paul and Aiken area community online.  https://www.stpaullc.net/live-broadcast I am so very thankful that Donna Derrick will join us for prelude and offertory tomorrow for this worship service. Donna makes music so well and she is bringing her dulcimer - and will sing. Everything she plays or sings comes from her heart - as an offering to God. She is a beautiful blessing to us!  I mention this, because Donna does this to help us launch our first Virtual Worship - you see there will only be a few of us there, and we will be working to keep a safe distance from each other, while connecting with each other, the online viewers and our Lord and Savior. It will be different, and it will be not wh
Online worshiping starts Sunday Not what I expected to be blogging about this week - but then again, I guess I have known things were getting less and less normal for several weeks. So our awesome musicians at St Paul and I have hit the pause button along with the rest of our community. We are walking with the Aiken Augusta area and keeping some distance - hoping to flatten the curve of the spread of this deadly virus. There is a song in there somewhere. But today, this made me think of a specific song by Marty Haugen - "Gather Us In" You can listen to it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruaV6pmFGAM As you review the lyrics below, consider how when we are scattered into our homes and some of us into our daily offices and fields - how are we gathered? We are gathered together in our hearts, our minds and our spirits. We can gather on the phone, through the internet and on our cell texts, messages and e-mail. Check back in - as we learn how to gather - from
Lent takes a turn... Today, Sunday March 15th - the Joyful Noise Ringers Handbell Choir rang during communion at 8:30 and 11:00 and played on our exit hymn. They rang "Acclamation in G minor" by Karen Thompson. This nice piece is full of tension - just like our lives are! The 8:30 Choir and 11:00 Choir sang "Lord Have Mercy" - Bach/Hopson. Our Hymn of the Day at both of these services was ELW 611 - "Have You Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" At 9:45 worship, Donna Derrick and Tim Chandler led our music, using the song "Indescribable" - for that is God's love for us! We communed at all 3 worship services, praying for all who are homebound, in isolation, need healing or assistance. We lifted our very world up to the Lord. Lent is re-turning to different things this year - Coronavirus 19 - Attendance is seeing more people using live streaming, and we made temporary changes in worship to keep all of us who are in the building together healt

Lent at St Paul

Lent at St Paul Lent - a time of contemplation, penitence and making time to consider the beauty of God's love for the world. What's not to like about Lent? S ome of us struggle with these days before Easter. Maybe we want to get to the celebration - life can be difficult and we often walk in days of wilderness, so we yearn for the things that bring us joy! The music of Lent is a beautiful thing - it speaks to the darkness, opening it up to let God's light shine in. The music speaks of the different feelings and sorrows of our souls and makes room for the joys that Easter brings. In Lent, we will have Evening Prayer on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm - with a Lenten Choir of volunteer singers helping us sing. There will be short Lenten Dramas as well, from Prayers of the Passion.   March 1st - Men for Him will sing at 8:30 and 11:00 worship - featuring Prayer of the Children  written by Kurt Bestor. He wrote this piece in the late 20th century, frustrated by the horr