Had a very wonderful experience at church on Sunday with music. Our musical guest was leading and I was excited from the moment I read the set list she sent through on Saturday. Five songs, which is not too unusual although four is more typical. Nothing amazing and one of the songs I'm not all that fond of but it fit in well.
Rehearsal before church was fairly normal, we started late and were a little pushed for time to practice all of the songs but all ok. There were quite a few new faces in the congregation, but we are still only little, perhaps 40 or so people including kids.
I love it when our musical guest leads, she has a beautiful voice and really interacts well. There were a few hiccups with the song words as one of the kids was in charge of that and probably needed a little more guidance but from the start everyone just seemed really present. I didn't have a foldback speaker so couldn't hear the full sound we were making but it was one of the few times I have been able to hear the singing from the congregation; everyone was just really into it. We did three fairly up beat songs to start and then there were announcements and the kids were released to happy land whereas they usually stay for all of the songs, which I think is a bit too long. The next two songs were slower, more powerful songs and it was so moving to feel the energy in the room. At one point I looked out and absolutely everyone had their eyes closed and were all singing, most with faces and hands upturned. I became a little overwhelmed a couple of times and found it difficult to keep singing!
After the service, everyone seemed to still be buzzing and we actually had a few compliments, which is probably more because of the new people but it was so nice as some weeks it just seems like we are going through the motions and it is rare for people to give feedback. Also, the pastor has a bit of a bugbear about people not looking at church as a thing to get something out of but rather a thing to make a contribution to, which is fine to a point but he seems to put it in too black and white terms and his examples include not thinking about what you do and don't like but for me that is fine as long as there is a balance and it is a two way street. Anyway, not wanting to go on about that but just wanting to say that the music was fantastic and it was awesome to feel that beautiful and inspiring energy.