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Thursday, March 10

Trumpets sounding and cymbals clanging 

Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! 

Psalm 150:3-6 

I grew up in Kannapolis, and my mother and daddy worked in Cannon Mills. My parents and brother and I went to a rural church. On the way, we picked up my aunt and grand-mother. People came from everywhere, even as far as Con-cord, because at the time it was one of the few Lutheran churches in our area.

We had a preacher, and the preacher’s wife was the pianist. That was the only staff we had. In the summertime, we raised the windows at church — and in came the wasps. They’d just float above our heads. I don’t think anyone ever got stung. They were just up there, buzzing around.

The preacher preached really loud. He was preaching loud enough so the people on the back row could hear him. We didn’t have amplification. We didn’t have any liturgy. We’d just sing hymns, listen to the sermon and go home. One member came in his horse and buggy. He’d tie it to a tree.

My early upbringing in church was quite simple, so for me, going to St. John’s every Sunday is awesome. The more litur-gy we have, the more I like it! Each Sunday, the music is var-ied, and it’s not sung the same way. It’s so creative. Some-times during hymns when Rob has the organ wide open with the trumpets sounding and the cymbals clanging, I get completely overwhelmed. It’s so beautiful, that I just have to stop and listen for a verse or two. I also love the fact that we have different preachers. That keeps things interesting. I never want to miss a Sunday on my pew.

I began singing in the choir when I was 14, and sang in church choirs for 60 years. That’s when I decided to retire from the choir. It got hard for me to stand. But I still appre-ciate all those who sing in the choir, sharing their talents every Sunday. It’s time-consuming with rehearsals. At one congregation, we used to rehearse on Sunday afternoon, so church took up all of my day.

As my wife said in her faith+life moment this past fall, we think God has saved the best for last!

Dear God, thank you for the gift of music, and the opportunity the praise you in your sanctuary. Amen. 

Ed Shinn 

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