“The Lord is my shepherd, I have all I need, She makes me lie down in green meadows. Beside the still waters, She will lead. She restores my soul…” These words from Bobby McFerrin’s adaptation of the 23rd Psalm (Hymn #1038 in Singing the Journey) came to me yesterday when Tammy and I gazed at swathes of yellow poppies across the landscape. How are you restoring your soul?
It is a whole new world since the last time I wrote this column. We are all learning to follow CDC safety precautions and directives from our Governor, and figuring out how to maintain health and sanity and community in the midst of it all. And Zoom (and perhaps FaceTime) have become vital tools. In addition to virtual worship and virtual choir rehearsals, I have had a virtual doctor’s appointment and online yoga lessons.
Creating worship is still important. A small team of worship leaders have made worship possible virtually. There are special challenges in doing so in terms of music—adjusting microphone positions and adding mics, knowing that sounds from different points of origins have a lag time, and acknowledging the limitations of the space and technology. While music in virtual worship will not be perfect, we still have it, and we still sing together (in our own places). There is comfort in that.
One loss is the presence of our choir. It is just not possible to gather together and make that sound from one point at this time. Yet we are maintaining our connection as a small group by congregating on Zoom during rehearsal times, singing and sharing. We will continue to rehearse as we can, hoping to be ready when we have the green light to get together to support worship. Meanwhile I am thankful for the singers who are willing to help lead congregational singing on Sunday.
How are you coping at this time? I will share some of the resources I have found that truly feed my soul, in no particular order:
From Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries colleagues:
Keith Arnold and David Burrows are leading an Evensong service each Wednesday at 7PM here:
On Facebook, Sarah Dan Jones (composer of “Meditation on Breathing”) is leading morning singing meditations M-F. Music and/or Meditation:
New York’s Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas every night for free at www.metopera.org
Monterey Bay Aquarium has live cams, with dreamy music for all the jellies. My favorite: Moon jelly cam www.montereybayaquarium.org
They also have guided meditations connected with the jelly cams, the ocean, and other areas posted on YouTube. Miscellaneous:
Don’t forget books! Podcasts! And if animals make you happy (as they do me),
Brookfield Zoo in Chicago has a live virtual tour every day on YouTube.
Tour the Louvre: https://www.louvre.fr/en/
Go to Bryce Canyon or Carlsbad Caverns National Park:
You probably have found some of these, and I hope you are enjoying them.
Remember: “Even though I walk through a dark and dreary land, there is nothing that can shake me, She has said She won’t forsake me, I’m in her hand…and my cup overflows.”
Catherine A. Massey,
Director of Music
AUUMN Credentialed Music Leader