Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Journey - In Touch With Community

My grandson Ezra is part of his school band. He's in the sixth grade, but this is his first year. He plays the trumpet and is doing really well. Grandpa and I are proud of his efforts. He's quite dedicated. 

A couple of months ago he announced that there was going to be a Christmas concert on December 18th. He's talked about it a lot, which means it's important to him.

Last night was the big night. Glide Elementary, Junior High and High School bands performed and so did the High School choir. I have to be honest - I wasn't excited about attending. I just wanted to stay home and rest. A book launch, Christmas shopping, extra shopping for my mom and house building have kept me busy. I'm tired. But I couldn't miss - this concert mattered too much to Ezra. So, my husband and I trudged out to the car and drove down to the school gym, and were not feeling exactly enthusiastic. I'm glad we didn't give in to our weariness, though, because the concert was exactly what we needed.

The performance was the highlight of my month. By the buzz of kids and parents I don't think we were the only ones who felt that way.

The fifth and sixth grade bands have a good deal to learn, but they put on a fine performance as did the junior high band. When the high school group started warming up, it was clear we were in for a treat. Wow! What a difference a few years and a good teacher make. They were really good! I was immediately uplifted and filled with the warmth of the Christmas season. To top off the evening there were toe tapping performances by the high school choir and some outstanding solos.

Last night wasn't just about being entertained. It was about being part of our community.

While listening, my heart and mind were filled with memories of years past. I watched Gale Graham, the band and choir teacher, raise his baton and lead the performers through the music selections. Almost immediately, I felt like part of a family. Back in the mid 1980's my own children began their musical journeys under Gale's leadership. Seeing him guide this new batch of kids warmed my heart. Ezra's already made it clear he thinks Mr. Graham is the best and he's hoping Gale will remain until he graduates from high school.

It was good to see and chat with friends and neighbors. Hugs, laughter, pats on the back and sharing tidbits from our lives reminded me how blessed I am to be part of this community. And it got me wondering about how I could do more to connect. Since my children have grown up I'm not involved like I once was, but I want to be. So, here are a few ideas I've had. Maybe you can add to them.
  • Keep in touch with local groups via Facebook.
  • Take part in activities.
  • Volunteer at the food bank. 
  • Offer to help at the school. 
  • Attend school programs.
  • Show up and cheer on our athletes at sporting events.
I'm sure there are lots of other ways to be involved. I'm definitely going to give it more thought. How about you? Our communities matter. There is so much opportunity to reach out to one another, to help or just be a friend. Let's see what each of us can do to be part of our community family.

I'd love to hear from you and learn more about what's happening in your town.

Grace and peace to you from God,


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