Being in the church was an interesting experience for me. The sanctuary was small and very pretty. It was round, with an A frame type roof, and glass panels going most of the way around the circumference. The view of the woods was beautiful, and you almost felt that you were outdoors. J told me that he often saw birds, squirrels, and even deer through the glass panels. All that glass made the sanctuary hard to heat, and the temperature remained at about 63 degrees Fahrenheit during the services. The minister mentioned at the beginning of the service that the Presbyterian church has a strong singing tradition. The singing and the piano and organ music were all very good. J played the organ really beautifully. The choral number that I liked the most was an excerpt from Schubert's Mass #2. (I didn't even know that Schubert wrote masses. I associate him with lieder and chamber music, as well as nine symphonies.) There were two soloists, one male and one female, and they both sounded so good. Although the theology was alien to me, I was quite happy with the music.
The people in the church were nice, too. There was a fellowship break, with coffee and pastries, between the two services, and I went to partake. Several people came up to me, said that they had noticed that I was new, introduced themselves, and talked with me. Those who had been at the first service thanked me for playing and told me they enjoyed it. I also got lots of appreciation after the second service. Members of the congregation praised J highly in their conversations with me. They told me that the church organ was only one year old, and J had given an organ recital to celebrate, with plenty of Bach. They all said that it was a great concert, and, based on the music I heard J make, it must have been. I got another perspective from talking to members of the choir, since J served as choir director. They just loved him.
The church is near my home, the congregation is friendly, and the music is great. If I could only tolerate the theology, I'd join the church. I will get on their mailing list so that I can attend some of their music events, including an organ concert by J if I'm lucky. Also, I told J that I'd like to come back and play for services again. In addition to having a good time, I had the satisfaction of helping my community orchestra pay the rent.
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