Road Journal – Day Eight

Posts in the Road Journal series

  1. Road Journal – Day One
  2. Road Journal – Day Two
  3. Road Journal – Day Three
  4. Road Journal – Day Four
  5. Road Journal – Day Five
  6. Road Journal – Day Six
  7. Road Journal – Day Seven
  8. Road Journal – Day Eight

Friday, June 29th

Loma Linda, CA

Just finished perhaps the most successful hospital concert I can remember in my time with this group, at the Adventist Children’s Hospital.  Most of the time, when we sing in a hospital lobby, people kind of stop for a song or two, nod or smile, and move on.

For some reason, everyone parked it today.  Doctors, nurses, patients, and parents just pulled a chair, or a spot of floor, or just stood, and listened for a half hour or more.  It was really cool.  One of the administrators told us that most staff people just ignore groups that come through.  Perhaps it was because I addressed the staff specifically as we began, thanking them for being the hands of feet of Christ, the great physician, the great scientist.

We’re on our way to El Torito for our last group meal together.  The mood is light, the end is near.  I can’t wait to hug our kids.

101 west, Universal City, CA

We’re in the home stretch now, fighting L.A. traffic on a Friday afternoon.  It’s comforting, somehow.  In two and a half hours, an In-N-Our Burger truck will roll up to the church parking lot and serve 175 people meals.  We’ll then make our way into the sanctuary, and do our final concert of the year.  This group, as it currently stands, will be no more.  Seniors will be graduated, the classes will shift up, and in a few months, it will begin again.

Erica and I made the decision that we are going to lead the group musically for at least one more year.  This ministry is too special to fall through the cracks, and the new pastoral leadership team is not yet fully in place at ABF.  Andy will shift into my worship leading role for a few months, one of our sponsors named Dave has been asked to become the interim youth leader, and we will begin a new life.

There’s a chance that there might be a new worship leader and permanent youth pastor in time to provide leadership for this group before the next season begins, but I doubt it.  We told the sponsors what we had decided, and they were excited.  We told them that we were going to have to make some structural changes for us to do it, and they were game.  I cannot speak for the years to come, but I do know that this will not be my final Agape concert tonight.

It’s the right thing, the good thing, to do.

Choirs are special to me.  Choirs are about people of average ability coming together to be a part of something extraordinary.  Choirs are about giving yourself away a little bit to become a part of something beautiful, something bigger then yourself.  At the same time, your individual participation is critical.  One sour face, or sour note, can throw the whole picture off.  It’s about the group, it’s about the person.

It’s about suspending chaos.  It’s about shutting off the noise, and aligning frequencies upon harmonics upon tone upon timbre.  It’s about capturing imagination and stealing breath.  It’s about unity.

It’s the church, four minutes at a time.

Previous in series: Road Journal – Day Seven

6 thoughts on “Road Journal – Day Eight

  1. Daniel Semsen

    >>Choirs are special to me. Choirs are about people of average ability coming together to be a part of something extraordinary.

    Chad–everything that follows this statement is awesome. Choir has a profound place in the heart of Christy and I, and I think you nailed it on the head AGAIN as to why. You, my friend, are a talented communicator of thought.
    Also–it’s cool to see that you guys decided to do this for another year. It is a unique ministry that really captures what Christ’s body should be doing among the lonely and hurting.

  2. Christy Semsen

    Good for you. You sound too suited for this particular ministry to leave just yet- go ahead and tailor it to your needs, but yay for not leaving it behind just yet. You wouldn’t find it again- at least not exactly.

  3. Chad

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve enjoyed posting these a lot. I’m typing this from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with my son Zion in my lap (complete with poopy diaper). Nana passed last night, and we just made it here in time to say goodbye. The whole fam has gathered, and there will be services for the next two days both here and in the bustling metropolis of DeQuincy, Louisiana.

    Crazy. Nana had three kids, they had eight grandkids (myself included), who in turn have produced eleven great grandkids (and counting), and, with a couple of hotel rooms for the thinner skinned, we’re all crashing at my cousin’s house + RV.

    Add friends and extended family and you have yourself one Cajun-Fried memorial extravaganza.

    I do not know yet the symbolism of this, but this interim period (where I made the decision to resign and then did it, and went through the whole process) has been bracketed on both ends by the death of a grandparent. We were on the way to Erica’s grandfather’s memorial in Arizona last December when we made the final decision to go for it.

    It’s almost as if the transition from being the kids to the middle generation has completed itself. “One generation away from finding life out on our own…” indeed. I had a friend (a baby boomer) note the strangeness of being “The Last Line of Defence” once the grandparents have passed. Ironically, he’s in the process of freaking out and leaving his wife, a scant two years after making this statement to me.

    Anyways… adulthood here we come, and at the same time, adulthood can kiss my ass. We’re supposed to be rock stars.

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