(Photos taken by Shelly Zipperle)
Here's our set from this week:
Pre-Service: "Say Say" [Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill] - C Call to Worship: Isaiah 40:25-31 "Everlasting God" [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley] - Bb Welcome/Prayer/Announcements/Offering Greeting Time "God of Wonders" [Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong] - Ab "Indescribable" [Laura Story] - Ab Communion: "Lamb of God" [original] - Ab Message: "I Believe God Reveals" [Pastor Joe Hishmeh] "All Creatures of Our God and King" [St. Francis of Assisi, William Henry Draper, David Crowder, and Brent Milligan] - D
My third week here in Topeka was a great weekend of worship, with an interesting twist: I was more hoarse than I have ever been in my life, aside from losing my voice completely. Strangely, I was able to control my pitch and volume without any trouble, but it sounded really rough on "Say Say." For the rest of the set, it sounded a little gritty, but I think it was fine. It was a lot of work to control it, to be sure.
I typically have a higher tenor voice, but I have been trying to key things lower for the people in the congregation--specifically the men in our congregation. This week made me think seriously about that. I had already keyed the songs lower (aside from "Say Say") on purpose, but if I hadn't, I don't think I would have been able to sing them at all. I came to a conclusion: if I cannot sing a song when I'm sick, it's too high for most men to sing. I think that's probably a fair assessment. Most guys have as much range as my hoarse voice, which basically has the range of an untrained voice. It will be extremely helpful to have that as a guide for my decisions on song keys and ranges going forward.
"God of Wonders" and "Indescribable" were keyed lower than I have ever had them before, and I thought it was very effective. It seemed like the people were singing more easily with the change (especially on "Indescribable," which is usually through the roof in Bb or B). I think they could have come down even to G without negative effect. I was even more grateful that I had done that when my cold began looming over the weekend.
Also, this was the first week I have shared an original song with Fellowship, in "Lamb of God." We used it during communion, as the deacons and elders were passing out the elements. For me, it was an especially sweet time of thinking on the cross and what our Messiah did for us to redeem us and rescue us. Pastors David Hinkle and Brian Tryhus did a great job setting up the time of communion, too, which made it that much more meaningful.
Pastor Joe shared about God's revelation of Himself through creation, through the Word of God, and through Christ. Because of this, we responded to the message with "All Creatures of Our God and King" as arranged by David Crowder on his Illuminate album. I love this arrangement of this hymn, and it was really fitting for the message today. The guitar part at the intro was a little tricky (Crowder capos up to the 7th fret and place it with G shapes and tons of embellishment), but by the fourth service, I think I got it mostly right. I love some of the stuff that Crowder does on acoustic. It spices things up without going over the top.
All in all, it was a great weekend of worship together. We unveiled a pretty dramatic stage design for the I Believe series, which turned out great. Kip Kraisinger and Wyatt Johnston were the brains behind that one. The images in this blog are from the new set. We set out to link our series on essential doctrines of the Christian faith to the concept of "Legacy," which is where the Tron theme comes in. All it took was some PVC pipe and some lighting, along with aircraft cable and fishing line to rig the pipe boxes. I'm pretty excited about how it turned out. In fact, I'm pretty excited about everything going on here at Fellowship right now. God is so good!
I hope you had a great week of worship wherever you were!
In the Son,