After dinner three groups of Hub Kids took their fellowship on the road to serve communion to some of our shut-ins. This is the second time our children have had the opportunity to serve communion and it is an edifying time for all involved.
While the kids were away, the rest of us enjoyed some time to chat and made our way into the sanctuary for the special music.
The program included compositions that spanned centuries and the western world, from German Baroque composer, Telemann, to Chicago-born modern
composer, Robert Muczynski. Paul Mathers gave us a
poetic reading from The Lark Ascending, which
inspired the music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The
program concluded with Trio in G from Franz Haydn.
Matthew Raley played the violin, Bridget Raley the cello, MaryAlice Kolko the flute. Betsy Spence was our guest pianist.
We come to church because Christ is our only hope. But for many of us it takes an act of courage to get here on Sunday morning. We feel safer at home. Many of us have had painful experiences at church, maybe even at this church. Because of our pasts, we fear being shamed. Not knowing whether others face the same troubles and fears, we feel like outsiders. Struggling to resist the sins that still tempt us, we are afraid of being judged. And too often we have had good reason to feel this way. We have all experienced the damage the tongue can do. That’s why we fear it. James 3.8-9 says of the tongue,
“It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”
In His death, Christ took upon Himself the curse that our sin deserved so that we can receive the blessing of God’s righteousness. Those of us who bless God are called also to bless those created in His image with the same truth, love, hope, and forgiveness we have received.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom … the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3.13,17
The wisdom God revealed in Christ transforms our tongues. Instead of pouring out poison, our words begin to be a source of life and peace to one another. In Christ our gatherings are an opportunity to practice the gentleness of our Savior, to learn to be reasonable, to sow peace, and to gather a harvest of righteousness. None of this wisdom can be gathered alone in our rooms at home.
This Thursday evening, October 27th at 5:30 is our monthly Hub dinner. This is an opportunity to bless one another with God’s peaceable wisdom and to overcome together the pain of our pasts. After dinner, at 6:30, we will enjoy an Offbeat Evening in the sanctuary with special music featuring violin, flute, and cello.
The price for dinner is $4 per person. Kids six and under eat for free. If you can’t make it for dinner, you are still welcome to come and enjoy the music.
Since 1998,The Torres Shelter—a 120 bed shelter for men, women, and families with children—has provided, at no cost to their clients, beds, showers, evening meals, laundry, basic personal necessities, message and mail service, storage of personal belongings, and transportation. They also provide SSI counseling and filing assistance, basic educational tutoring, health screening, TB testing and education, veteran’s benefit assessment, behavioral health assessments, AA and NA meetings, legal services, and referrals to job preparedness programs and permanent and transitional housing.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians:
“… God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
Homelessness affects so many in our area, either directly or peripherally. The Torres Shelter is a venue in which we can meet needs in the spirit of Christian love with confidence that the resources we share will be distributed wisely.
And this Saturday, along with the blessed opportunity to be cheerful givers, we also have the opportunity to expand our vocabulary of beauty as we listen to one of the most transcendent pieces of Western music. As Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, said, “When you hear the music of Schubert, you go home enriched.”
The concert will be a performance of Franz Schubert’s Trout Quintet, D. 667. It’s called the “Trout” because it was adapted from a song that Schubert previously wrote about a trout fisherman, which was a morality tale warning young women to beware of strange men. One of Schubert’s best loved chamber pieces, it is written for piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. I think you will be particularly amazed by the double bass, which is the lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern orchestra.
The piece communicates sheer joy in the process of music making. I hope you will join us for an evening of sublime music benefiting a cause that enriches many in our community.
Current performing arts programs at Urban Impact Ministries include a production of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, several choirs for various age groups, and a performing arts academy which offers instruction in ballet, drama, voice, the visual arts, mime, jazz, and musical instruments. Bringing the arts and humanities to at-risk youth in an age when arts and humanities are so frequently the first cuts made in schools allows young people, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, to interact with the higher aspirations of humankind.
The Urban Impact Singers is an invitation-only group that travels across the country throughout the summer and school year. They spread the word about Urban Impact ministries and proclaim the personal difference Christ has made in their lives. This year, the group is comprised of 11 people (8 students and 3 adult leaders). The program is designed for young musicians who exhibit potential for spiritual, musical, and personal excellence on and off the stage. The students audition and, if chosen, spend their year sharing and growing in the Gospel through song and godly living. They rehearse weekly, learn music theory and sight reading, have Bible Study, eat and fellowship together, and serve their community. Throughout the school year, they serve as leaders within other Urban Impact programs, building relationships with young people and making disciples for Jesus Christ.
I hope you will all join us this Sunday evening at 6pm to enjoy and support this vibrant and vital ministry and to praise God together with them for the amazing work He is accomplishing in His Kingdom.