This is a follow up on Dr. Clingenpeel’s sermon this past Sunday. Inspired by the site (and sight) of the choir’s residency, Mike started off with a tutorial based on church architecture. Canterbury Cathedral contains the typical elements of Gothic cathedral architecture – a choir (chancel), a narthex (liturgical term for lobby), the transepts (wings), and, of course, a nave (the main body of the sanctuary). Mike then gave a quick etymology lesson, explaining that the word “nave” is derived from the Latin word for ship, “navis.”

At this point, my mind drifted because I had to reset a piston on the organ in order to be prepared for the final voluntary – the new modern console will soon eliminate this distraction.

Back to the ship – and the return of my attention to the sermon. As Mike said, the nave/sanctuary of our own church is a very inspiring place. In fact, as exciting and stimulating as our choir trip was, and as meaningful as is was for Louise and me to attend a church service celebrated in German on August 3, I felt homesick for River Road. In fact, I am listening to Dr. Bagby’s August 3 sermon as I write this blog, and I can easily understand why we all love our River Road home, where we find a very special kind of inspiration. (By the way, Dan, I have noted your concern for my whereabouts at the start of your sermon that day! And special thanks to David Gulick and the choir “colonists” for being on the deck while about half the choir was away.) No matter where you are when you are not at River Road – the NC coast, the house on the river, the UK, mission tour, temperate New England – I hope that you experience the same sense of awe that I do upon returning to the home port.

Now, about steering the ship. So many devoted people are charged with leadership roles and assisting roles at River Road that it would be impossible to name all the individuals and groups who make this ship sail. Based on my position as Minister of Music, I would like to call attention to the choirs, the Chancel Choir in particular – perhaps the chancel is the helm during our regular Sunday morning worship. They are even here to lead worship during the month of August, and I would like to express special appreciation to those who sing all year round. Thanks are also due to those who take the plunge and join us for Summer Chancel Choir on an ad hoc basis. Your participation is very important and meaningful.

Our next voyage is the 2014-2015 season. If you are interested in singing with the Chancel Choir, please email so that I can give you more information about the coming season. And if you have friends or relatives who are good candidates for our Children’s and Youth Choirs, please encourage them to join us at the helm. It is a beautiful horizon.