One of the many musical hats that I wear is that of Children’s Choirs Coordinator at Zion Baptist Church in Covington, Georgia. The Children’s Choirs, otherwise known as the Joyful Noise (preschool) and S.T.O.M.P. (grades 1 – 5) meet on Sunday afternoons at 4:45PM each week, beginning usually in mid-August after school starts.
This year, due to various church activities which required some cancellations of our time slot, our choir year didn’t even begin until September 16th. Our choir rehearsal schedule was often interrupted. In October we missed one week due to Fall Break for Newton and Rockdale School Systems, who both use a balanced schedule. In November, the Thanksgiving Celebration by the Adult Choir and Orchestra on November 18th meant that almost all of our teachers, including myself, were involved that Sunday afternoon preparing for the service that night, and our class didn’t get to meet that week, either.
To catch up and give us additional rehearsals, at the beginning of November, I asked the children to come in not only 15 minutes earlier on Sunday afternoons (4:30 instead of 4:45), but also Wednesday afternoons at 5:30 before AWANA began at 6:00.
This meant giving up precious play-time and hanging-out time with friends between dinner and AWANA on Wednesday nights and coming in earlier on Sunday afternoons – prime play time. It meant that moms and dads had to make a special effort to get home from work on Wednesdays to pick up their child/ren and get them to the church. I wasn’t sure, at first, how many would be willing to sacrifice any or all of that just to come to choir.
Well, since most of my blog readers weren’t fortunate enough to be there tonight to hear them and see them in action, I can testify that these children did that and more. They sang; they signed; they drummed; they danced, jived, and clapped. They just kept on giving when most adults would have long given up, moaning, groaning, whining, and complaining. I couldn’t have asked them to do anything any better than they did. And they did it all with a smile on each face and a song in their hearts.
To their parents, thank you for your faithfulness in bringing the children to practice, for your willingness to put up with shifted schedules, for your patience when we ran late on Sunday afternoons, and especially for listening to us sing the same songs over and over and over again. You have beautiful, loving children, and I know you know that, but every parent needs to hear that others think that, too.
To “my kids” as I call them, I love each and every one of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wholehearted commitment to the choir and to your dedication to sing praises to the Lord. You make Sunday afternoons more than worthwhile. You put a smile on my face and in my heart, too.
You guys rock!
Hugs to you all from Miss Merri
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