portrait of woman in black holding oboe

Charlyn Bethell, Music Director


Happy fall and welcome (back) to First Parish!  At this time in our church life, we are embracing some things very new with our interim minister and in the letting go of the way things used to be.  We are certainly fortunate to have Wendy Bell along this journey with us.  This change, all by itself, brings us together as a community.  We are continuity amid the changes!  What comes with change is excitement and an invitation to be creative in new ways.  
 
One of our summer services, hosted by Carole Berney, was about creativity.  The best part of that service was that it inspired me to think about creativity long after the service had ended.  I think it was the ideal summer service.  
 
It seems to me that creativity is independent thinking that may create a unique action or product.   It can happen as a solitary event and it can be collective as well.  Creativity is the spark that ignites a metamorphosis.  Individual creativity makes us special, as the application of how we solve a problem differs widely person to person.  I believe that the spirit of creativity keeps us human and when we relate as artistic beings, we are equals.  The creativity makes us our best selves.  It is my favorite thing to share creative endeavors with others.
 
For me, being creative is a kinesthetic feeling.   I can have that feeling in my body when I am playing music or listening to music but it is also there if I am reading poetry or viewing visual art.  I find it fun to compare reactions to others’ creativity, such as discussing movies or literature because I think we are creative in the sharing of creative products.  There is no right or wrong.  Being curious, enthusiastic, and joyful is an integral part of creativity.  But so is discipline, as we are able to realize our imagination with the hard work involved in its implementation.  “Practice, man, practice” to set yourself free!  
 
Now, thinking of creative possibilities, our choir will sing two pieces that further our collective sense of belonging in a safe community.  One is called, “Safe Places of the Heart”—the lyrics are by Ronald W. Cadmus and they will be shared when we share the song at the October 6th  church service.  The second is a short, repetitive piece that is a Sunrise Song from Nigeria, called “Ose Ayo”.  “Ose” means “thank you” and “Ayo” means “joyful”.  
 
I close with the invitation to involve yourself in the creative possibilities at First Parish.  Give yourself permission to think outside the box and reach out to the First Parish community at large to make your creative dreams into reality.  Expect your life to be as enriched by everyone around you as they are by your special presence.  May it be so!
 
See you in church!
 
Happenings in September at First Parish:
 
September 22nd:  Our guest musician is Frank Grimes.  We have started many seasons with his beautiful viola playing.
 
October 6th:  The First Parish Choir sings!
 
Choir rehearsals begin at First Parish on September 19th, 26th, and October 3rd.  We are in the sanctuary and start at 7 and end at 8:30.