First Congregational Church

First Congregational ChurchView More Photos

When knowing I had a pressing engagement this morning, I made sure to be at office even earlier than I normally am on a given Sunday morning, and the first and foremost duty I had, was to get my contemplative prayer session behind me.

The session went very well, and each week, I’m all the happier to find that dark entity’s growing all smaller to the point where I’m confident it’ll soon be sent back to where it belongs, and no longer being able to enter my sacred space. I was compelled to add another person to my petitions, and only because that suffering gentleman soulfully asked me to pray for him, and I willingly accepted. Irregardless what anyone believes, I’m convinced there is a powerful force that’s generated from deep and selfless prayer. Just so you know, I do not pray for bad things to happen to evil people, because I leave that for the higher power to make that judgement call.

After my session was over, I packed up today’s music and headed over to First Congregational Church, just so I’d have enough time to get some good practicing in before their Service started, and when I got there, I was surprised to find the office manager right behind me. I certainly was happy he was there because we both had questions for each other.

Once I became more comfortable with their massive pipe organ, I took a little break, and while comfortably seated, the office manager walked up to have a nice visit about music, churches, the nose-diving attendance at our area churches, and just about everything in between. He asked where I did most of my playing over the years, so I told him, along with informing him about my every other duty over at St. Paul Lutheran. Of course outspoken me had to give my opinion regarding this mixing of Church and State which I don’t believe to be a good thing at all. Yes, we did have quite the chat this morning.

Their Service went well, along with my managing to keep from making and noticeable mistakes while playing. Truth be told, I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I was expecting, especially when I’m not used to playing up front with everyone watching. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t so noticeable since I was seated on a lower elevation.

The music must’ve been well-received because there were a handful of people who came up to me afterwards and thanked me for playing. There were some familiar faces in the crowd, but the remainder I didn’t recognize. What surprised me, was their having me play only two hymns, and then only two lines of Meredith Willson’s “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You”, which they have played every Sunday as their exiting hymn. It’s been at least 20 years since I played it, but it all came back to me once having run thru it several times.

While there, I managed to take three photos of the interior of their church which I’ve created a slide-show with the above photo, so if you click on the photo, it’ll prompt my very short slide-show, and the reason I’m doing it, is because most of our residents have never visited that church. Just remember, I’d only been in it once, and that was for a funeral. It’s woodwork, the overall design, those gorgeous stained-glass windows, and above all, that balcony which appeared to be able to seat far more than others contained in our local churches.

That church reminds me of an article I read a number of years ago regarding a particular European country which has the highest number of agnostics. What I remember the most about the article, was the reporter asking a woman on the street, why she still went to church every Sunday, when knowing she always considered herself an atheist. Well, her response was, “The reason I go to that church every Sunday, is because I love looking at their beautiful stained-glass windows, along with listening to their organ music.” Every time I recall that article, I smile to myself because whether we want to admit it or not, those of us who attend Services on a weekly basis, are oft times carried away by visuals and audio beauties. Of course my real grip, is having to listen to some of those song leaders who can’t carry a tune in a paper bag, and don’t even get me started on the facial expressions they sometimes use while standing up front. I know you’re gonna think me wicked when mentioning that not too many weeks ago, I happened to watch an online Service from another church, and the facial expressions on that song-leaders face, reminded me of someone who was trying to have a bowl movement after a week-long period of constipation. Yes, it was that bad. Really!

By the time I walked out of their church, it was nearing the hour of lunch, so I headed down to Wendy’s and picked up a small chili, and once I had it back to office, I doctored it up really good, and had it with a handful of blue corn chips which I smashed and sprinkled atop it before eating. It was better than yummy.

With my having no time to read the news this morning, I sat down at my computer and went thru all my favorite news feeds. One sad thing I noticed, was Dixie Mennen having passed away several days ago at the ripe old age of 96. She was an installment loan officer at one of our local banks where I worked a number of years ago. She was one of those people who spoke her mind whether you liked it or not. Yes, she wasn’t liked by all, but I always did, and that’s what counted.

With a good three hours to kill before I could call it a day, I went back and started attacking that last bin of black walnuts, and by the time I finished for the day, I discovered I’d been at it for three long hours. Just so you know, it takes an hour to crack a little over three ounces. Now you understand how time-consuming they are.

Tonight’s One-liner is: When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

Firstofall....JoeChodurreallydoesn'tliketalkingabouthimselfbutthisiswhatwehavefoundoutabouthim. more about: Joe Chodur

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