Seven years ago one of our sweet, older members asked if I would keep up a tradition that had started many years before and lead a sing along at a long term care center.
This sweet, older member is someone that you don't say "no" to so I said, "yes!"
I'm glad I did.
Connie and I spend an hour or so one Friday a month and sing with the saints who live at Lifestream, located directly east of Thunderbird Hospital.
The facility was originally called "Baptist Village." So guess which hymnal we use?
Being a life long Lutheran boy (and Connie a life long Lutheran girl) I wasn't familiar with a lot of the song in their hymnbook.
The challenge was even greater for Connie. She has to play songs she's never heard before and do it on the spot.
Fortunately, the Chaplin there (now retired) Craig Avrill, takes Connie through the more difficult or unfamiliar ones. We have appreciated his help so much over the years. He has become a good friend of ours.
The real joy is spending time with the residents. Connie and I have gotten to know some of the folks really well. We know where they're going to sit and what songs they're going to request: "Yes, Ruthie, we'll do 'Never Alone' for the 4792 time!"
The residents bless us with their confession of faith. They truly enjoy singing those great old Baptist hymns. For 45 minutes we join our voices together and present God with an offering of praise and thanksgiving.
We have fun too.
I've got a bunch of stuff on the schedule today - a couple of meetings, a visit to make, a class to prepare for and a wedding to get ready for.
But in the middle of the morning it will be nice to drive over to Lifestream for some singing with the saints!