An INVITATION for singers of all levels, instrumentalists, sponsors, organizers, hosts, fans, spiritual seekers
What has moved our hearts most deeply?
Wisconsin GOSPELLERS reflect on their German tour…
10. Friendship. I started out on the tour knowing only a few choir members, but after twelve months of practicing and twelve concerts singing together, I’ve found some new friends who I can really count on. And, they now know me through my ups and my downs. Staying in each other’s homes, rehearsing together, singing together again and again, we became family. What a wonderful gift.
9. Being part of a team. We became a team, each bringing our differing abilities, depending on each other. Sometimes voices cracked with fatigue and allergies, so we “played injured” when necessary, knowing that our group effort did not depend solely on any one individual. I became part of something greater than just me. Each evening was a team effort. How wonderful to know that as we each gave our best effort, together we were more than we ever could be separately.
8. The joy of singing. Making music is good for the soul. And we sang from our souls. What a gift this was for me. I do not do solos, but boy do I sing my little heart out on old hymn favorites. I do not read music, but once I sing it a few times I get caught up in the moment and sing my heart out—and not mistake-free either, by the way—but who cares! My knees will no longer allow me to dance with the flair of old, but this music took me beyond dance into pure joy!
7. Watching faces soften from within. As we sang in the small Polish village churches, many stoic faces reflected pain and suffering, the hard labor and rebuilding of years gone by. People appeared curious, but reserved. From the very first blast of our music, energy began to fill the sanctuary and then overflow. As song followed song, the faces of those in the pews warmed and came alive from the inside out as they, too, joined in the rhythms of the music. Night after night we witnessed this mysterious and contagious miracle envelope the entire room and meld us all into one for that sacred moment in time.
6. Post-concert receptions. At the end of our concerts we stood in a circle outside the door continuing to sing as people exited. They at first looked surprised but then joined in the singing. As we grabbed each other’s hands and smiled into each other’s faces, the magic continued and my eyes were often filled with tears. It is so difficult to share that intimate connection with strangers through mere words. The music brought us together in a lingering celebration without the need for words.
5. Host family warmth. Staying in private homes instead of hotels was a little scary, but what a blessing! I speak neither German nor Polish but, despite my anxiety, with hand gestures and lots of laughter we all got by just fine. And what gracious hosts: “Please help yourself to more!” Every morning when we departed for another village the bus parking lot was filled with laughs and hugs and tears. How great to make friends in another part of the world who are plain and simple just like me. Translation software now keeps us connected via internet!
4. Church beyond boundaries. I have been moved by our relationship with the German Church. It is clear that we are all of one faith—across the world. As we share the Gospel in song, and host each other, and worship together in churches on different sides of the ocean, I have come to know in my heart that there truly is one Body and one Spirit across the globe—the full communion of saints. We are one. There is no difference that separates our souls.
3. Spiritual moments. We were able to touch one another in a way that our Jesus taught us. And I was deeply touched myself. As I was singing I began to realize that the gospel music created a truly religious feeling in me. I had expected to enjoy singing but had not expected such a religious outpouring of my heart, with such inspiration, and to be filled with such a sense of prayer and praise—truly a worship experience for me.
2. Serendipity. I have been moved to tears singing in Gransee with a mass choir of 100 Germans and Americans, watching a mentally challenged man dance his joy in the aisle as we all clapped enthusiastically, breaking out with song in the Berlin Railway station, witnessing a young, stiffly resistant priest melt into the rhythms and leap to his feet bringing his small congregation with him, and . . . and . . . and . . . more . . . .
Heard enough to pique your interest? Here’s the very TOP reason to join the Gospellers—YOUR OWN!!
1. YOUR PERSONAL HEART SONG:
What do you most yearn for these days???
What CHALLENGES and adventures?
What CAMARADERIE, friendship, and encouragement?
What uplift of SPIRIT?
What part of this Gospel Choir adventure is most likely to MAKE YOUR HEART SING?
Consult your own internal wisdom.
Then try us out and—discover for yourself what elements of this ministry will kindle your own passion.
We invite you to join the GOSPELLERS and sing your heart out!