Music for the Soul

“Music opens the avenues to the soul which must be kept open all the time.”

This is one of the passages from the book Greenwood: This Other Eden by Joseph Schaaf that I shared in a sermon to celebrate Greenwood Music Camp’s presence.

We had the extraordinary privilege of hearing Greenwood musicians during five weeks of services this summer. The final service, August 7th, was basically all-music!

Greg Hayes is organist and choir director, and is well-known for his work with the Village Church’s annual Handel’s Messiah Sing. Whether Greg is conducting the weekly anthem, or accompanying the hymns, as one person told him — “The way that you play the organ, expands my heart.”

Each Sunday we begin with a string quartet leaning in towards each other to create exquisite blending. The anthem on July 24th shared a contemporary piece by Rosephanye Powell who put a poem by Langston Hughes to music:

All of you who are dreamers, too,
Help me to make our world anew.
I reach out my hand to you.
Music makes the world anew.

A friend said recently about a project in Bali to restore coral to a reef, that people in Bali feel that each fish and each reef has its own song. When it’s healthy, the song is restored. She said that everything in life sends up its praise song. Even a simple hum, sends up a reconnecting vibration.

Sitting in the church with the summer sun coming through the windows, hearing the skill and sincerity of the musicians, a reviving affirmation of life is stirred. In the flowers, the fruits of summer, in the gatherings with friends and family, may you hear the pulse of life. May you sense life sending a song message to you and welcoming you into the huge combined symphony with delight.

Rev. Sarah Pirtle