Preparing for Worship – Jeff Brummel, associate minister of music.
My major in college was music education, which qualifies me to teach K-12 music in public schools. Perhaps the most discussed topic in those densely filled years was nurture. To be honest, this concept was rather foreign to a busy college student in his early twenties, but Wilshire has brought me to a place of deep enrichment and understanding of nurture, not only of students but our entire community of faith.
In worship today, you will notice that we have a flute ensemble, which is the result of director Shana Gaines’ leadership and nurture of Wilshire Winds. Blake Brown, our soloist, was nurtured at Wilshire through children’s, youth and music ministries. Now he is participating in nurturing by serving a second year as one of Wilshire’s summer children’s ministry interns as well as blessing us with his incredible voice today. Sanctuary Choir and all of our music ensembles have been nurtured along by fine directors, not only through weekly rehearsals, but also through the behind the scenes work performed by administrative staff and volunteers, which is such a valuable ministry to us.
Outside of Sunday morning, our youth have just returned from camp—the first trip for any of our groups since before COVID. Our children have had a wonderful VBS week, and we’re gearing up for our annual Listen to Your Art camp.
But nurture doesn’t stop with our youth, children or music ministries. On Wednesdays, Midweek Bible Study allows our senior adults to meet for study, prayer and fellowship. On Tuesday I was thrilled to fill in and play piano for New Song at their first in-person meeting in well over a year as we sang some of our favorite gospel hymns. Sunday School classes across all ages are offering studies and get-togethers this summer, which will no doubt continue in the fall.
As I learn music at the organ, or even as I teach lessons or rehearse Youth Choir or Shekinah, the most valuable rehearsal technique I employ is time. We do our best when we have a slow saturation of learning notes and general musicality. It is the slow nurture of what takes place during weeks and months of practice that produces a certain personal ownership of the music.
Could this be how our faith is — a slow lifelong endeavor, saturated by nurture within a faith community shaped by the Spirit of Jesus Christ?
Next month we will begin a new chapter at Wilshire as we begin our first full academic year back into the swing of things post-pandemic. I am thrilled that we continue to nurture as we do church together. Thank you for your ministry.