Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hooray, Saints! Hooray, Titans!

No, this isn't about TWO teams in the NFL. "Saints" carries a very different meaning here.

You see, Sunday was the First of November, and thus was All Saints Day in the liturgical calendar. At Eastwood Christian Church (Disciples) worship on the Sunday nearest 1 November is altered to allow for recognition of congregational members who have died in the past year. Members' family and friends are also recognized. This is done by placing a stand at the front of the sanctuary, and after the sermon a few words are said and then as each deceased member's name is read a white ribbon with a bell on the end is carried from the main door down the center aisle and Hung on the stand. One additional ribbon with bell is hung while individuals call out names of significant others who have died in the past year.

The choir sings a powerful song titled "Death Shall Not Destroy My Comfort", rather British song arranged by Mack Wilberg. This year we also sang a second anthem just before the ribbon ceremony, "Heaven's Choir" by Pepper Choplin. Our choir director, Julie Duemler, had recently been introduced to this new piece and shared it with us at rehearsal a few weeks ago. We all liked it but didn't want to give up the other anthem, so we sang two!

After Worship I rode the bus across town to the Green Hills neighborhood along Hillsboro Pike. I often go to the Kroger there for Sunday dinner, but that had to wait for two other activities nearby. One was paying my cellphone bill at a Verizon store on Hillsboro. The other was the grand opening of a new piano store by ECC(DC) member Grand Houston. Grant had actually stood beside me in the choir as we sang earlier during Worship, but then had hastened to his new store to ready for the opening festivity. When I entered I saw three men there: Grant, another fellow choir member Steve Walls and a third man new to me (but apparently an old friend of Grant's). Several people came in afterward, including Pastor Jay Hartley and his family. I was impressed that Grant had one of the pianos playing, not with somebody's fingers tickling the ivories but from an i-pod. Grant even took the i-pod from that grand piano over to two upright pianos, connected them both and got both to play simultaneously!

After hanging out at the new piano store about three quarters of an hour I went on over to the Green Hills Kroger for a full meal -- Grant provided snacks like cheese, crackers and small fruits along with champagne, but "I live to eat" as somebody might say. Having purchased my usual salad bar meal and a Sierra Mist, I sat down in the small eating area. It has two large TV screens, which were on to an NFL game.

A few minutes after I sat down and began eating one of the store employees came over as if to change channels. I'm not a wild fan of either team in the game being showed, but I feared he'd put on car racing or something else boring instead, so I asked him not to change the one screen I was watching. But he did -- to the Titans' game! This was just starting, and was being broadcast from here in Nashville. It's always nice to see the landmarks of Music City on the TV screen during a Titans home game, and this was no different. Plus, the up to this date winless NFL team started out looking really good. The offense scored a field goal as I watched, and the defense seemed to be handling the visiting Jacksonville offense well. So I left happy in the knowledge that the Titans just might snap their season-opening losing streak.

And so it was. I found out later that the Titans won 30-13. Hooray, Titans! Perhaps the saints we remembered this Sunday the First of November were looking down with favor upon Nashville's hometown team! in which case: Hooray, Saints!

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