During my first year of seminary (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) my teaching parish was a small African-American congregation on the south side of Chicago that met in a remodeled Arby’s (or something like that). The pastor of the church was an African-American man with a seriously phenomenal singing voice. When he sang the liturgy it sounded like Nat King Cole was leading worship. One Sunday morning I was sitting in the back row and he whispered in my ear that I would be leading the next part – which involved singing?! – and it was time for me to head up front. The organist was finishing up the hymn and I would be next.
I started to sweat profusely. I stood at the small lectern shaking inside and out. The organist played the intro notes for the leader, which to my great horror was ME?!! To add to the anxiety of the moment, the organist was completely blind and had no idea that it was little ol’ me standing at the lectern about to cry. He played the notes again, surely wondering what the heck was going on. I was breathing heavily, pitting-out, and praying to just drop through the floor, pass out, or somehow get out of this situation.
And then two women-full-of-mercy-and-grace sitting in the front row started to quietly sing the part I was supposed to sing, urging and nudging me along; “the Lord be with you…”. I stared in their angelic eyes, and my voice and my spirit sung on their coattails and held on tight. I needed their voices to resonate with, they could see it, and they sang out just enough for me to feel the voice within me and then let me go. It was a pretty wonderful, empowering, and humbling experience.
I love this idea of of RESONATING. I think this is why people like Martin Luther King Jr. were so important and why we are all so hungry for leaders like him. We crave someone to resonate with, that helps us find our own voice of hope and courage. Maybe instead of expecting one charismatic leader to do this, we need to be this for each other? Isn’t this what makes some community experiences so meaningful and powerful? When we are all focused together, directing our energy, breath, prayers, dreams — you can feel it inside you! Our spirits are resonating together. This is the magic that can sometimes happen in a yoga class when we are all breathing together, expanding, grounding — there is so much strength and power in the community – you feel it!
On Monday, January 16th, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we will resonate all of our hope, strength, and courage together for the annual MLK Day Yoga Love Raiser! To help us expeience resonating our voices even more, the wonderful woman Lyndsey Scott of Rantoul Yoga will be there to lead us in song, so that we can really feel the power, the hum, and the strength of our voices resonating together! The Yoga Love Raiser will be a donation only class to support the work of St.Matthew Lutheran Church with Faith In Place. Faith In Place is an essential interfaith environmental leader that provides a strong voice for all faith communities in Illinois to resonate with! They do such important work. So, we will gather to make a groundswell of love, hope, and courage and raise as much money as we can! The money will go to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, a Partner Congregation of Daily Bread Yoga. Please bring cash or check made out to St. Matthew Lutheran Church with “Faith In Place” in the memo line.
We need your voice. You need to hear your own voice of hope, strength, and courage and feel empowered and encouraged by all of our voices made stronger together. Please come! Please bring your friends and neighbors in need of some encouragement and a community of people to resonate with your important voice!
Monday, Jan. 16th, 9-10:15a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church @ Prospect & Devonshire. ***Note — the location is Good Shepherd Lutheran – BUT – the Yoga Love Raiser is for St. Matt’s in Urbana. Do not go to St. Mathew’s – that would be lonely and disappointing.*** Donations only. No need to register. Please bring your own mat, if you have one. There will be a few extras to borrow, if needed. All yoga levels are welcome. If getting up and down from the floor isn’t easy for you, please come to the Chairish class at 10:45a.m. and we will still be talking about MLK Day and taking donations! Or you could join the Beginner Session that night, 7-8:30p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church (Green & Goodwin).
Peace on your head,