“Music is something that reaches peoples’ hearts in a unique and special way and I wanted to be part of that.”
Mary Luley is just one of the over 50 participants in the RED Musical this Christmas. Mary and her husband, Bill joined Messiah in November and she did not hesitate to jump in to get connected to the Messiah family. Bill is a retired Episcopal priest and in their many years of ministry, Mary was music director and organist at three churches they served. After her husband’s retirement, the couple was looking for a new church home where the Christian faith as taught by the disciples and early church fathers is still believed, preached, and lived out.
“I decided to participate in RED in order to meet new people,” Mary said, “and to use the musical gifts God has given me to be part of helping to spread the Gospel through music at Messiah.”
Music has been part of Mary’s life since her early church and school choir days, but musical practice at Messiah is not just a simple rehearsal. Families come together for practice, devotions, decorating, and even arts and crafts.
At each rehearsal’s end, the group is divided to share blessing bowls. A bowl is placed in the center of a small group with nine stones. Each stone has a different conversation starter. People in the groups share beginnings, remembrances, loss, quests, sacred times, moments of gratitude, care, mountain highs, and valley lows. Mary describes this small group time as an unexpected blessing. She explained, “Especially to see how eager the kids are to share their faith and life experiences.”
When asked how RED might impact the audience, Mary added,
“I think this musical will be a great way for people to take a step back from the busy-ness of the holiday season; to be reminded of, or maybe hear for the first time, the message I’ve heard without fail each week since coming to Messiah- the message of the love and Grace of Jesus. And I feel privileged to be part of that.“
RED: Experience God’s Love and KidzRed is Sunday, December 13 at 9:30am and 11:00am. RED Worship Experience is a musical, artistic expression of God’s love. All are welcome to attend.
By Wesly Pinkston, Messiah’s Connections Coordinator and Summer Camp Coordinator.