Rally Day was a great success at Bethany. I heard a number of positive comments about the choir and the guest musicians; the jazz saxophone arrangement of "Amazing Grace" was a particular high point, in my opinion. We won't hear jazz every week, but it was a great change of pace.
Now I should explain about the asterisk in this post's title. At second service, we truly did have a choir member wearing every single robe. At first service, however, one of our younger choir members was serving as an acolyte and therefore wearing a white robe instead. That one lonely robe still hanging in the choir room, though, should function as a reminder that we always welcome newcomers! (And don't worry, we have more robes on order, so we can continue to grow.)
I was also proud of the congregation's singing of "All Who Believe and Are Baptized." You might have noticed that the tune was slightly different from the original rhythmic version that Luther would have recognized. The hymnal is sometimes updated to a "metric version" that avoids some of the more complicated rhythms and syncopations of earlier church eras. I could sense the surprise at this dumbed-down version of the hymn in the hesitations between phrases. It's great that our congregation as a whole is so musically literate that we notice those changes. So congrats to the people in the pews too, for your great singing.
I hope that the energy of this kick-off to the fall season can be continued with high levels of participation and excitement for all our ministries.