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Exploring our Faith through song

by Jesse Ratcliffe

This year, unlike last fall, I am relieved to know we can charge forward with a sense of normalcy to create goals for an active music ministry. It is with great excitement that I share with you the musical plans for Heavenly Rest this fall.

It was a joy to watch our youngest musicians develop a regular pattern of participating in worship. The current schedule is for the Children’s Choir to present a musical offering, whether it be an introit or offertory, on the second Sunday of every month in addition to the tradition of singing during the pageant. Our middle school Youth Ringers will offer a voluntary at least once a season, as well as, collaborating with the children’s choir during the pageant.

Canterbury Bells will be ringing with a renewed energy as the entire set of handbells have been refurbished. Not only will the bells look stunning, but each bell will ring effortlessly. Current plans are to enjoy bell music in worship at least once a month. The handbell choir is a great entry into music ministry for those that might be intimidated by choral singing. Those that are not strong music readers have the opportunity to secure one-on-one coaching.

The Adult Choir will be learning a plethora of beautiful music for the fall. In addition to Sunday morning, the choir will be offering the service of Evensong, serving as the musical leadership for an All Souls Eucharist, and collaborating with the McMurry Chanters to sing Vivaldi’s Gloria, and three choruses from Handel’s Messiah. Much like Canterbury Bells, this is an entry level ensemble with multiple opportunities to learn how to become a strong musician.

The glue that binds each of these ensembles is the close community that is developed by exploring our faith through song. Each week the choristers share prayer requests and triumphs; many laughs are shared in the bell room as we stumble through a piece for the first time; and we discuss why a composer or arranger has manipulated music in a certain way to match or convey the text. Without a doubt, these ensembles require dedicating a chunk of time each week, but the fellowship that is developed from that time together is soul-stirring.

If you or your children are interested in participating in any of our musical ensembles, please contact me ( or Shelly Reed (


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