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[personal profile] vicarbrench
I've been visiting a starting church in Fitchburg - not too far from where I grew up, though an hour from where I live now - bringing music to lead in their monthly worship services.

As this new Anglican church gets up on its feet, there are many parishes that are small and understaffed, and Fitchburg's Grace Anglican Church is one of the smallest of them. I go to Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, in Danvers, and it's by far the largest parish in our diocese (New England), not only in number of congregants, but also in number of clergy. There are about 6 priests and 3 deacons based there! Only half of them are actually on staff, and an overlapping half are fairly aged and close to retirement, if not already retired. But that gives us a great situation where they have a long rotation for leading worship & preaching at our church, and easily spare a priest to celebrate communion with other smaller parishes nearby.

But now, I'm able to tag along with our visiting priest and bring another dimension to their worship: music! I get to pick the songs (both hymns and contemporary; they want both!), play them on my electronic keyboard (one of the most useful presents I ever received as a kid!), and also lead them in singing. Many of them are shaky music-readers, if they can carry a tune at all, so I actually am needed both to sing and to play. That's been a challenge for me in the past, so now I'm actually getting stretched in my musical skills. For the most part, I thought I was giving up my musical career when I chose to go to seminary, so it's wonderful to have this opportunity to bring the music back into my life some more. I mean, yes, Becca & I are in our church's choir, and that's been a wonderful musical outlet for me, but what I'm doing for Fitchburg is more involved - choosing the right music and preparing to lead it in the group is a very different game from choral singing.

When the Spring semester starts up, this project will be the major component of my Mentored Ministry, so I'll actually be getting seminary credit for it, too, which is fantastic :)

Oh, and since Fitchburg is closer to my old home than where I am now, it means that more of my old friends can visit there with me. I'll be seeing my sister there later this morning, and possibly also Ben Holt. Good times.
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