During the summer months at our church, they have what they call the "summer choir." Mostly it's the regular members of the choir, but they don't wear the robes and they don't proceed in at the beginning of the service, so it's supposed to be casual. While in this low-key state, they invite other church-goers to come and fill in some of the spaces vacated by vacationing vocalists. The very first time we came to church, this was going on. So we walked in and were enthusiastically asked to join the choir. I'm pretty sure my face communicated my absolute terror. We declined.
One Sunday this summer, I had to go drop off a borrowed coffee thermos in the kitchen, and by the time I got to the sanctuary, there was Josh, sitting with the summer choir. I should've known not to leave him alone. Every time he gets off by himself, some sneaky Episcopalian talks him into volunteering for something or other. This time, the lady didn't even have to talk. Recognizing him as a
I was pouty, because I did not want to sit by myself. His answer was for me to come sit in the choir, too. Seeing as how we would be put into different sections, this was not a solution. Also, I told him that summer choir was just the way they get you to join the regular choir. The revelation of their real plot was not quite the bombshell to him that I'd hoped. In fact, he seemed entirely okay with that idea. Hrmph.
It's November now, and summer choir is over. Which means Josh has graduated to wearing a robe and walking in at the beginning of the service. He made sure to get Thursday evenings off so he can go to practice. And, he has practice again before the service, because Episcopalians sing strange songs, which means we have to go to church at 9:15. We'd been talking about getting up early enough to go to Sunday School, but it had just never happened. Apparently, it took the choir. So I go to Sunday School, and Josh goes and practices singing. He loves it. He comes home on Thursday nights all full of musical joy. He says it's like free singing lessons. The opportunity for summer choir came along at the same time as he was starting up a new band with himself on the mike, so he saw it as one of those mysterious ways that the Lord's always working in. And here I thought it was just sneaky Episcopalians.
Of course, I have been asked to join the choir about fifty times since Josh signed up. About thirty of those times were him. I sang in the church choir when I was in high school, so it's not as if I'm allergic. However, I only joined then as part of a deal with my dad to get a beagle puppy. I'd use that as an example of the kind of persuasion he would need to bring to the table, except that I can't be sure that my husband wouldn't just go out and get a puppy. I don't want a puppy, and I don't want to join the choir.
Josh asks why I don't want to join the choir, and I don't have a real reason, other than when I imagine doing it, I suddenly feel sort of crappy and like I hate church. I don't need a reason other than not wanting to. I felt abandoned at first, but now I feel like I need to just find my own place in the community. He joins everything, and I haven't join anything, yet. I'm just easing myself in.
I've gotten used to sitting on my own (still not used to being there by 9:15). In fact, I sit with the other choir widow(er)s - the spouses of choir members who don't want to sing in the choir, not even for a beagle puppy. The choir takes communion before the rest of the parishoners, and when that happens, we go up there and insert ourselves in line with our partners so we can take communion with our honeys. It's sweet. And then we go back to our seats and listen while the choir provides music for the rest of communion. Sometimes, if I know the song, I even sing along quietly to myself.
I have to admit, his singing has gotten better. And he looks awfully cute in the robes.