As you read last week, I mentioned that you would hear more about the music and worship week at Lake J that I recently attended. Each day was structured the same: breakfast, worship, rehearsals, lunch, seminars, then dinner. Each afternoon, there were numerous seminars to attend in the areas of visual arts, dance, worship, children/youth/adult music.

I attended several workshops in the area of worship and worship planning. I especially enjoyed a few workshops about global music, which I wanted to speak to today. There is an enormous variety of music in our church (the global UMC). Many of our brothers and sisters in the UMC are African and bring with them a rich musical heritage. As you may remember, last fall we purchased several African drums and other hand instruments for use in the children’s choir and for worship. My hope is in the coming months to begin to incorporate more global music that connects us with the greater church. Singing the songs of faithful from around the globe solidifies our connectional system as United Methodists. I pray that you will be open to the Holy Spirit and our work here at FUMC.

The invitation is still extended to those who wish to join the choir. We are in need of men in the Parish Choir. John Wesley stressed the importance of small groups in our faith. We have many small groups in our church, and Parish Choir is one of them. Did you know that there are many health benefits to singing? Studies have shown that singing is very healthy! Singing, particularly in a choir, is shown to increase mental health. In addition, studies have shown that singers’ heartbeats synchronize when singing, acting as though there is a single heart beat, rather than many.

A few months ago, it was mentioned that the Parish Choir would be purchasing new robes. These robes have been purchased and are on their way. If you would like to give a donation in memory or in honor of someone to go toward the Parish Choir robes, please include “Choir Robe Fund” on the memo line of your check. The new robes are $120.60. Prayerfully consider how God is calling you to participate in the life of our church.

Grace and Peace, Dakota