May 16, 2011

I’m Going to Sing ‘til the Spirit Moves My Heart

The performers at Friday night’s cabaret-style fundraiser sang their hearts out.

I’m gonna sing ‘till the Spirit moves in my heart
I’m gonna sing ‘till Jesus comes

These musicians and singers gifted the audience with an evening of song, a biannual event to benefit the Church’s longstanding partnership with a congregation in South Africa.

Bill and I were part of a group of ten who met for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before walking over to the church. The evening had a festive feel to it: the air was warm, the flowering trees laden with blossoms, gardens were fresh with color, and a three quarters moon glowed in the blue evening sky.

The church hall had been transformed into a cabaret, with tables of four decorated with tissue paper flowers and colorful tablecloths. More paper flowers graced the windowsills and the six foot tables serving as ‘will call,’ raffle, and bar.

Lively chatter filled the room as friends greeted each other, and introductions were made.

At 7:30 the master of ceremonies appeared and the program began. Then stopped. The sound system wasn’t working. In the spirit of the ‘show must go on,’ the MC began telling jokes. Soon the microphones were working, and the Cabaret Singers took the stage.

Carrying the lion’s share of the program was a core group of seventeen ‘50-60 something’ men and women; people who love to perform and who have the time to devote the many hours it takes to put on a show.

Interspersed throughout the program were several younger performers: The elementary school-aged boy who sang “Danny Boy.” The pre-teen brother and sister who gave a hauntingly beautiful performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” The young married couple’s “Young at Heart” duet as well as two other young adult soloists and a teenage drummer.

The audience was attentive and supportive. The performers’ joy in performing was evident as their voices and movements grew more confident and relaxed as the evening went on.

During intermission, the room came alive as performers and audience mingled. The hospitality committee served home made brownies with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. People refilled their glasses before settling in for the second half.

The evening evoked a strong sense of another time: A time when people gathered in community to entertain and engage each other. And to laugh.

Best of all? The evening was fun.

What does your congregation do for fun?

I’m Gonna Sing ‘Till the Spirit Moves in My Heart by Moses Hogan

I’m gonna sing ‘till the Spirit moves in my heart 
I’m gonna sing ‘till the Spirit moves in my heart 
I’m gonna sing ‘till the Spirit moves in my heart 
I’m gonna sing ‘till Jesus comes

It was grace that brought me 
It was grace that taught me 
It was grace that kept me 
And it’s grace that will lead me home

I’m gonna pray ‘till the Spirit moves in my heart 
I’m gonna pray ‘till Jesus comes

Can’t you feel the spirit moving?

I’m gonna shout ‘till the Spirit moves in my heart 
I’m gonna shout ‘till Jesus comes
I’m gonna sing till my Jesus comes