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Archive for October, 2008

It’s Dark and Wet

We did something kind of radical, my husband and I.  We sold one of our cars.  He needs the car for work, which means I am now commuting by bike to work everyday.  Honestly this sounded like a great idea this summer, it saves a lot of money on gas and insurance, and it’s being very socially responsible.  It’s very “Portland” of me.  But today I inwardly groaned when I woke up hearing rain.  It’s the first of many days of rain.

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This post is a part of Sunday Setlist! Check out what other churches are doing on Sunday mornings.

This week I co-lead worship with my friend Joi.  She has an amazing voice.  Seriously.

From the Inside Out (Houston) – G. Joi lead this song because it always seems like I’m screaming at the octave jump. She rocked it.

Desert Song (Fraser) – D. Joi also lead this song, though we shared the four verses like the recording. Now the congregation has really learned this song and made it theirs, I’m putting on the back burner for a few weeks or so.

In The Shadow of the Glorious Cross (Ritter, Bales) – C. Thank you internetz for allowing me to be a part of an online community with awesome, new, creative resources. If you haven’t yet, please check out this: Sojourn Music Blog. A-mazing. This song was new this week and I feel like it went over well. I mean to do it in D but after waking up this morning I realized anything over C above middle C was NOT happening. It turned out well in C.

All We Need (Hall) – C. This was also supposed to be in D but after I started playing it, halfway through the verse I realized I was still playing in C. Ha! Thankfully this morning it was just me on guitar and vocals, Joi co-leading and Josh playing the djembe.

The service overall went really well. The message was about “What is the Church?”. We had a LOT of new faces this morning which is very encouraging. I left the service thinking “GOD IS GOOD”.

Yes, He is.

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One thing I’ve always thought of myself is that I really don’t fit in with Christian culture.  Not the loving Jesus part, obviously,  but the “style” of Christian life.  At least as portrayed by the magazines, records and tv channels. It’s this thought that has made me feel uncomfortable as a worship leader at times.  First off, I’m not a man! Also, I’m not blond, my teeth aren’t straight and bright white, I’m not skinny, my voice isn’t that great, and I didn’t go to bible college.

I found myself in a strange situation last week, because of some miscommunication I was asked very last minute to lead a few songs at a church planting seminar.  I didn’t know anything about it except that I would get some free chili, so I showed up the next day and walked into a room full of people who have planted churches, or are currently in the process.   I guess it shouldn’t have been so unexpected, but the ratio of men to women was about 20:1.   I have never seen so many 25-35 year old married, bible degreed men trying to look like David Crowder.  It was amazing.  And, to be honest, a bit uncomfortable for me.   It was like walking into a club that I never knew existed.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love David Crowder! This isn’t a post judging others- it’s a post reflecting on how I can learn to adapt to social situations that are very different to me. Honestly, I do feel out of place in most Christian circles- I’m female worship leader and my husband isn’t a pastor- in fact he isn’t in ministry at all.

After mulling through this, I do know that it doesn’t change my desire to be a worship leader. There is something to be said about “growing up” and just making do. It’s a great thing to get some more diversity- but I wish it didn’t have to be me! I sure I’m more preoccupied with my situation than anyone else anyway- I bet no one else cares that I’m one of 10 women in a room of pastors.

Men-do you even think about this? Women- can you relate at all? How have you overcome this kind of thing?

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We had our big preview gathering this week.  There seemed to be a lot of new faces in the crowd, which is great!   The biggest challenge for me this morning was the set-up.  We meet in an elementary school so we have to set up and take down everything.  We got a really nice new sound system and today was our first day using it.  It took forever an hour to set up, which pushed our rehearsal time to about 30 minutes.  Right now we don’t practice during the week so this morning we didn’t run through even one of the songs completely through.  I was a bit nervous as we started the first song, but once we got through it fine I realized that everyone in the band was talented enough and played on worship teams enough to be fine.

As we were setting up my guitar player walked in, and he had brought a friend.  And his friend was carrying his keyboard.  Um… apparently there was a miscommunication and I thought he was coming a different week.  It really turned out great though, he was a solid keys player and really gave the music a fuller sound.

Setlist:

Your Grace is Enough (Maher) – D.  Honestly, this was a 1/2 step to 1 step too low for me.   It was also a bit awkward for the other girl singing with me.  The harmonies were either too low or too high.  Next time I’ll do it in Eb or E.

All Creatures of our God and King (Crowder version) – Bb.  We started out quiet with just me strumming the acoustic guitar and the keys playing a long sustained chord in an ambiant sound.  We built though the song and really nailed the Alleluia’s at the end.

Desert Song – (Fraser). – D. This song seems to be connecting very well with both the band and congregation.  When I first introduced it a few weeks ago, I thought it might be a bit too wordy but now as the lyrics have caught on people are really getting into it.   I really like the song too and I need to watch myself because I’ll push the beat and speed everyone up.

How Great is Our God – (Tomlin , etc) – G.  Good solid song everyone knows.

You Are My King/We Exalt Thee – (Foote) – D.  Love this song.  After the “you are my king” refrain we quietly went into the we exalt thee chorus.  The voices in the crown rose up over the music and we ended with just voices.  Very worshipful.  Tom came up and introduced a video he was going to show.  The bass player and I stayed up and played for the video.

Mad World – (Tears for Fears) – C.  We played this during the video- you may recognize it from the movie Donnie Darko.   The problem was they turned all the lights out and I couldn’t read the lyrics.  I only missed one line, and I sang something.. just not the right words.  It turned out okay in the end though.

Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone – (Tomlin version) – C.  This was played while everyone got up during communion.

Overall the morning went much smoother than I thought it would go when I realized we had zero time to rehearse.  Yet another reason for a weeknight practice!  Having a full band was so fun though.  I can’t wait for the next time we get to have one.

Band:

Myself – Lead vocals and guitar

Joi – Backing vocals

Nate M- guitar and backing vocals

Ben – keys

Joel – bass

Nate C. – drums

This post is a part of Sunday Setlists.  Thanks!

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Womens Retreat Thoughts

I have to admit that my impression of retreats are not super great.   Coming from a youth of summer camps and winter retreats, I have this idea stuck in my head about that sort of thing- no sleep, bad food, awkward small groups, and ‘the cryer’.  If you’ve been to enough retreat centers you know what I mean.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised this weekend.  I shared the stage with Beth- she played piano, me on guitar and we traded off leading songs.  It worked beautifully- she and I share a common heart about leading worship and we both got to bring new songs to the table and learn from eachother.

I introduced ‘The Desert Song’ to the ladies- it was a hit.  The chorus of that song is so anthemic, and it really resonated with the group.  Another song that had an impact was a part of a song by Lifehouse.  I’m not sure if it was the chorus or the bridge, I’ve actually never heart the recorded song- but we sang it as a tag to the song ‘Save Me’ from  Enter the Worship Circle.   The lyrics are:

“How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
Cause you’re all I want, You’re all I need
You’re everything, everything”

Overall I had a great time. The small groups were actually small, people listened to each other, I got a good nap saturday afternoon. But the food still sucked. I guess you can’t have everything!

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Sunday Setlist 10/12/08

Let me preface this by saying:  I am tired.  This weekend wore me out!

Sunday morning: I didn’t have to lead worship, thankfully! I got to just play guitar and do some back ground vocals- after a Friday night service, and two Saturday services my voice was a little on the raspy side. In fact, Sunday morning I sang tenor parts. Anyway, the setlist:

Holy is the Lord – Tomlin
I Stand Amazed – almost like the Tomlin version but a bit faster on the tempo.
God With Us – Mercy Me
Beautiful Is Your Name

The retreat was awesome but I don’t have time to write about it this morning! I’ll update later this week.

This post is a part of Sunday Setlists.

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The First of Many

I’m pretty sure this will be the first post of many- I’m feeling OLD today.  Mainly because I have finally admitted to myself that I can’t see.  Especially while driving.  Especially not street signs.  

 

I know… I know…

 

I haven’t been to the eye doctor since I was 12.  And today I have to go back.  

 

To get glasses.

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