Musing – March 8

“Life must have its sacred moments and its holy places. We need the infinite, the limitless, the uttermost – all that can give the heart a deep and strengthening peace. We need religion with its faith and purpose; we need it as experience. We need the touch of beauty, bringing back to life its lustre and its loveliness.” (A. Powell Davies)

The FUUSN musicians try to bring that touch of beauty to our services every week. We offer musical spaces for reflection and for rejoicing; we offer music that challenges each person to listen – actively listen – and to feel emotions that may not be comfortable. There’s a place for music in our services – not only in the easy “It makes me feel better” or “Ooh, I love that song” departments, but as one of the ways we reach each other.

Worship demands more of us than we want to admit. There are people who love one service at FUUSN and the next week feel disaffected. That common syndrome is a sign that we have not held up as important that which is vitally important to the life of our congregation, which is: to be together, to be fully present and accountable to each other as a corporate body. When we come together on Sunday mornings, to sit and stand and sing and speak together, to think, to listen, to meditate – that means we have chosen to commit ourselves to a common purpose. The purpose may be different from congregation to congregation, but whatever it is, it calls for (for lack of a better word) a buy-in from each of us, a promise that, in disagreement as well as passionate advocacy, we will stay together and hear each other, hear the music and the words that we hold in common.

Sunday morning worship offers itself as a haven and a constancy in our lives. It doesn’t look to be everything at every moment for everyone; rather, the onus is on us to actively receive what is offered to us, to join it, in a spirit perhaps more humble than what we usually display. We are asked to participate in a mode of expression that is not just about our individual selves but is rather about a continuum, about the generations before us and the ones to follow. When we open our hearts and minds to the work of worship, we emerge renewed and refreshed, ready to engage in our work in the world.

–Anne Watson Born