Archive for the ‘Mount Calvary Lutheran Church’ Tag

PLEASE DON’T CALL ME A CHRISTIAN   6 comments

Yes, I belong to Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior, MN, and I sing in the choir at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN. Maybe I’m really a Unitarian in heart and mind. Basically I try very hard, with only moderate success, to be a follower of Jesus.

But please – for now, anyway – don’t call me a Christian. Not since the term has turned Jesus into a political icon standing for hate, prejudice, and cruel exclusions, so far from the universal love preached by him and for which he died a terrible, cruel death.

Come December, I will recognize the winter solstice by wishing folks a “Happy Holiday.”

I will not cheer for the idea that the only politically correct thing to say is “Merry Christmas,” in spite of a lifetime — until now — of thrilling to that greeting.

 

 

 

 

 

THE ACCORDIAN EFFECT   14 comments

Sometimes the past appears in the present pulling the present into the past like the motion of an accordion. That happened for me last night at a very moving presentation of Dubois’ “Seven Last Words of Christ” at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior, Minnesota. The sanctuary was full and darkened, lit primarily by seven candles in front of the bare altar. The choir was full. The organ, the drum, and the harp were near perfection, as were the four professional soloists and the choir itself.

As each “word” was completed, one candle was extinguished and, for the finale, the choir sang in the dark without music. No one broke the silence in the end as we left.

For me, it was not just beautiful. I relived the years of singing one of the soprano solos in Hamden, Connecticut. But more than that I saw and heard the conducting organist, long gone from us, and the other friends no longer in my life, and many gone on to the next stage in their journey.

The day before yesterday we had celebrated Maundy Thursday where we received the new commandment to love one another. Yes, the accordion effect last night did flood my soul with love that survives even the death of those who have blessed our lives and moved on.

MEMORIES OF “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”   17 comments

It began at Thanksgiving time with starting to memorize the Latin words for the many lovely chants and songs offered by the nun’s chorus. The music for the nun’s quartet was easier — in English.

It went on with weeks filled with rehearsals, of which there were even a couple of cancellations because the weather was so bad — even for Minnesota! Mostly, though, the show had to go on no matter how bad the storm and the cold.

It was over with the final performance on Sunday, March 2, 2014.

So here for you to see — some photos of the people involved.

First, the nun’s chorus, against the backdrop of the elegant set.

alternate header

And the children’s chorus. I’ve been told they hated to see it end, having become a very close “family.”

Von Trapp children

And Edelweiss. Many year’s ago when my son in Junior High performed the role of the Captain, my father “cried three handkerchiefs worth.” I understand people in this audience teared up too. The song is so touching for people who have left their homelands behind, and even for those who haven’t.

EdelweissSister Berthe, Mother Abbess, and Sister Margaretta

Srs. Berta & Margaretta, Mother Abbess.Version 2

The Nun’s Quartet in action, discussing Maria’s suitability for the Abbey.

quarrter

Sister Margaretta and Sister Berthe, with a little slice of Mother Abbess on the side

Sister Margaretta & Sister Bertha

And then the finale in rehearsal

Nun's Chofus, finale

 

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