Holy rhythms

Kitty Williams, Director of Music Ministries

As your ministry staff, we discussed “Holy Rhythms,” the theme for our next worship series as we move from a wonderfully unstructured summer into the routine of the new school year.

We contemplated how each season has its time and purpose. How both structured and unstructured times are important. How all times are holy.

Ecclesiastes 3 comes to mind. 

Everything Has Its Time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

A time for war, and a time for peace …

In July, a group from our Chancel Choir went to France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy.

In L’église de la Madeleine, we sang a memorial concert with other choirs from the United States.

More than 800 people came to hear the concert. Over and over we heard, “The people of France are thankful to the allied forces.”

Although I learned about D-Day in a classroom, the magnitude of the consequences of this day did not sink in until our visit.

Our tour guide Andreas told us he would not be here if it weren’t for the commitment of those soldiers. 

In Normandy, we visited the American Cemetery, Point du Hoc and Omaha Beach, where on D-Day, June 6, 1944 about 6,000 American servicemen died.

(And that figure does not include all the allied forces that were lost.)

While on Omaha Beach, I imagined the blood stained surf and beach.

I imagined how I would feel if I were the mother of one of those soldiers who fought that day, which was the beginning of a movement that would reclaim Europe and restore it to a more justified and peaceful existence.

Our moods were somber. We were on sacred ground.

However, on this day in July 2019, the sky was blue, the air was cool and the water was almost turquoise. This time, the day and the place were beautiful. 

As we walked the beach, it finally happened!

Our young traveling companion couldn’t contain herself! Margaret Noll literally frolicked on the beach, running and kicking up water.

I reminisce about that day with Caroline Noll, Margaret’s mother and our Pastor for Children and Families. Wouldn’t that be what the soldiers desired – someone playing on that beach? 

At the cemetery, there is a bronze statue called Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves. When I watched Margaret, I thought, “How fitting – the title of that statue.”

I’m thankful for parents like Patrick and Caroline, who teach their children the importance of the past and the joy of the present day. 

As this season begins, let this daily prayer remind you that each action and moment are of holy worth: 

Christ beside me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, King of my heart:
Christ within me, Christ below me
Christ above me never to part.

Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand,
Christ all around me, shield in my strife;

Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting,
Christ in my rising light of my life.