Today had an unwritten theme - Dedication.
Last spring, Gerald and I wrote "A Divine Heart Imagined You." Inspired by Psalm 139, the song reminds us that God hand-crafted each of us in love. When the song was new, we sang it for our good friends, Deanna and Michael. Well, we didn't know it that night, but Deanna and Michael had a secret - God was already hand-crafting their little girl. After we sang, Deanna and Michael decided they wanted our song at their daughter's dedication.
Today was that day. We arrived bright and early at Calvary Church to rehearse the band and have soundcheck. Some of our Gathering band musicians attend Calvary, so we had them lined up to play, but suddenly a pianist, violinist, and additional vocalist also showed up. In the end, we had a full, 8-piece band! The sound was tight and fluid.
And the worship was powerful! This congregation came ready to praise.
The message, the prayers, the music, and the beautiful dedication of baby Darragh
all flowed to create a glorious morning.
Cool Side Story: I was at our CD table after the service, and a woman came up to me, grabbed my "Real Big Fan" CD and said, "I know you!" She bought "Real Big Fan" years ago, and was actually listening to it this morning before church, not knowing we would be at Calvary! When she arrived, she was shocked to see us leading worship. It just reminded me that even though we record the music, we never know who's listening or how it's affecting their lives. Something for all musicians to remember when we hit the studio...
After church, we attended a family luncheon to celebrate Darragh's dedication. Sitting by Lake Ontario, sipping iced tea, nibbling great food, and chatting with interesting folks was refreshment for the soul.
Other Cool Side Story: One of the guests was Herbie Kuhn, "The Voice of the Toronto Raptors"! If you know Gerald and his love for basketball, you know this was a highlight for him!
We slipped out of lunch early to head up to St. John's York Mills for our second dedication of the day - the ordination of our friend, Derwyn. Derwyn and his family came to Toronto to study at U. of T. but God had another plan. At St. John's, they've been involved in music, children's programs, technology, worship, and pretty much anything that needed a helping hand. I love ordination services - watching someone dedicate their life to God's ministry in such a public, formalized way is powerful and inspiring. (No, I don't want to get ordained! Let's not start any rumours...)
Gerald and I led the band, and it was a tremendous time. Derwyn had chosen great music, and our team really stepped up. The choir led a few songs by themselves, and then we all joined together on a few numbers for a huge, full sound.
The highlight was Gerald's new song, written for today - "All I'm Called To Be."
He played it in the staff meeting this week so Derwyn would hear it in advance,
I heard the song throughout the writing stages, and it turned out so beautiful.
Gerald gave a moving performance in the service, and I joined on harmony.
It just felt so special to share it with Derywn and his family tonight.
The response to the music was overwhelming, especially for Gerald's song. I think it gave people a glimpse of what the music at St. John's will be like when we're there for Sunday mornings.
On a day like today, I'm, of course, reminded of my own commitment to ministry.
But today, I was part of the congregation asked to support both Darragh and Derwyn
in their lives in Christ. So that got me thinking,
"What am I doing to support my congregation,
my musicians, my friends,
and my family in their faith walk?"
Food for thought on a richly blessed day....