WELCOME TO THE ST. JOHN CHANCEL CHOIR
Rehearsals: Wednesdays at 7:15 – 8:45
Worship: Gather at 10:00, service at 10:30
SCHEDULE: The St. John Chancel Choir rehearses Wednesdays at 7:15 – 8:45 in the newly renovated and cheerful choral rehearsal room. The entrance is located directly from the front parking lot, or at the extreme front of the sanctuary if you enter from the main foyer.
HISTORY: The tradition of choirs leading worship is older than the church itself. Nearly 3,000 years ago, (1,000 years prior to the founding of the Christian Church) hosts of singers were appointed to exult in worship at the new temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. In the early centuries of the church singing became more organized in a largely illiterate society. Today choral music is enjoyed at every level of ability and performance.
EXPECTATIONS: Rehearsals are intentional and efficient, but friendly and fun. Church choir is not boot camp. While musical results are excellent and inspiring, there is no expectation to “own your life.” We know there will be an occasional necessity to be absent. Musical preparations are made well enough in advance that the fear of missing a rehearsal need not cause a loss of sleep.
FOOD! The theme of JOY permeates our singing and the fellowship of our time together. Many rehearsals are embellished with light refreshments and once monthly (usually on the first Wednesday of the month) a light snack is served and enjoyed just prior to rehearsal. This takes the edge of your Atlanta commute and provides energy for the evening.
MORE ON WORSHIP: Because the choir is present and active in nearly every worship gathering, perhaps a perspective on how we view worship will be helpful.
• God is the audience; the people of the congregation are the performers; the musicians (choir, soloists, organist, etc.) are the producers and directors. On many occasions we may rejoice and say “YAY GOD” but the fact is, God is saying “YAY US!” When we worship “In spirit and in truth” (Jesus’ own words) and when a soul repents [and enters the Kingdom of Heaven,] there is “rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God.” (Jesus’ words again.) WHO is in the presence of the angels? The Lord God Himself! HE is the one rejoicing! How great is that, that we are privileged to lead a performance that merits GOD’S applause!
• There is NO outline for worship in the New Testament other than the example of the early church whose people continued “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.” There is no mention of music or worship outlines specifically. We are given the freedom to organize, create, rehearse and present worship in any way that will provide ministry in the lives of people and glory to God.
• There are some principles, however, that can guide us in creating lively, purposeful, Christ-honoring worship. The letter of the Apostle Paul to the church at Colossi asks us to “teach…one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord!” (Colossians 3:16.) This, I believe, provides a three-dimensional model for music in the church, allowing us to perform music that reaches the heart and that challenges our mind.
• Mind and spirit are partnered together in effective worship. St. Paul, in I Corinthians 14:15 encourages us to “pray with the spirit AND pray with our minds,” and to also “Sing with the spirit AND sing with our minds.” That is, we are most effective as worshippers and musicians when our intellect (mind) and our emotions (heart) meet in the presence of God.