Standing in the Midst of Prayer

"It's me, it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer." Tonight (Wednesday, February 25) at 7:00 the Pastoral Care Team has organized a prayer meeting, particularly to pray for me, in advance of Friday's bypass surgery. I am happy in so many ways.

  1. I'm joyful because St. Andrew's are a people of prayer: Probably in part because of Neil and Lise Baxter who taught the church for 16 years between 1984 and 2000, and still lead in prayer today. St Andrew's was gathering to pray for special needs when I first met them as a supply preacher in the early 2000s. We'd gather at the end of a worship service, join hands and lift up someone facing illness, difficulty, or grief. And people were helped. 

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Surviving Ebola

"Your Blood Tested Positive for Ebola, I am Sorry."

Your blood tested positive for Ebola, I am sorry.

I was deeply moved by this entry on Bill Gate's Blog. Mr Gates has dedicated his foundation to the eradication of Malaria, but given the crisis of Ebola in Africa today, he was moved to post the account of Dr. Ada Igonoh, who contracted the disease from the first Ebola victim in Nigeria. It is a first person look into the experience of this disease, with its striking symptoms and associated terrors; it is a doctor's account of the progress of a disease and a crisis; it is a Christian's account of faith, hope, and service. A rather long article, but well worth the read. 

Nashville Day 8: The Saga Concludes

 Hung out in the airport all day. If that sounds bad to you, you are not a barbershopper. At gate C14 the crowd waiting to get back to Ottawa sang a bunch of General session charts, (quietly, respectful of the non barbershoppers around us.) We gathered a crowd of listeners and drew barbershoppers away from other gates. At the end of the impromptu concert I told the audience about www.barbershop.org so they could find a chapter near them. Then we were approached by a guy who wanted to videotape us and share it with his business clients, an email list of over two thousand. So we sang Love Me the best we could and promoted the BHS website and the Capital City Chorus.
Through the afternoon I ran into clusters of barbershoppers looking for a lead or a bass, etc. and we sang a few polecats (barbershop standards) whenever we met. A little nap at the gate and a little tension as the flight filled up. But the agents at the gate were great and wanted to be sure we got on the plane. Whether that was to thank us for the music or to get peace and quiet, the reader can only guess. Back in Canada as I post this addendum. It's great to be a barbershopper!

Harmony U Day 7 (Saturday): Wrap up.

A very relaxed day. 
We spent some time recapping the week, both from a chorus development perspective (leadership track) and from a musical aspect. Really good feedback from the chorus. 
Then we went to the rotunda of the Law building and sang. And sang. And sang. Great spot. We got lots of recordings of chorus and Papa's Friends. 
Our tune it or die teacher, Jay Dougherty proved that humans perceive undertones. He was using an old Mac program. it was very cool. 
Sang a bunch with the quartet and then settled in for the Saturday show. And what a show: Honors Chorus, directors' chorus, Brigade chorus, next gen male chorus, and young women in harmony chorus. Great quartets including Shoptimus Prime, Master piece, the Academy, TNS, an amazing women's Quartet (they had six on stage: two singers were 'with child') they proved that women's barbershop doesn't need to generate overtones, they can just reach up and sing them directly. Seriously they had an unbelievable range and rang the chords wonderfully. Their dramatic and funny take on 'turn the radio on' was also a stellar performance. Masterpiece featured their bass on Old Man River. What a rich smooth and deep voice he has. 
The show include lunch break who did a hilarious set, including a Mad Lib version of my wild irish rose. 
Can't find the words to describe the two youth choruses. The young women had us rolling on the aisles while maintaining impeccable sound. The guys had a precision and expressiveness that most experienced chorus would give their right arm for. 
Ended the night and the week singing a tag with Shoptimus, who are really sounding great right now. Then I sang with some guys from the chorus till 1:00 am. 
Harmony U Is really worth the trip to Nashville. But plan on spending a couple extra days off you want to see Nashville itself. The days and nights are so packed with things you don't want to miss they you will not get more than a block of Belmont's beautiful campus. 
I have to plug the Sing Canada foundation. The campus was full of people old and young who were able to be there with Sing Canada grants. You can help them nurture great singing through their grant program. The community you help may be your own!