As you may know, my father was a Minister, too. And, it’s both humbling and surprising to find myself standing here nearly 60 years after he entered Seminary, a Minister myself. It was not a career I had any wish or plan to pursue – ever!
But, things change…
Some of my earliest memories are of my Father leading a worship service. I particularly remember his voice booming out over the congregation as we sang hymns. But, I have no memory of this from when I was older!
When I asked him about this a few years ago, he told me the following story. You see, he was called to the church (that I first remember him in) when I was about 3. On Sundays, he’d sing from the pulpit as he’d always done in his other churches. But, in this new church something was different, something that he did not realize mattered.
His previous churches had no audio system. So, singing from the pulpit had never been an issue, he’d never thought about it. And, he didn’t think about it in the new Church either, because the speakers pointed towards the congregation, not towards him. He didn’t hear what everyone else heard.
As a three year old, I had no idea that hearing the preacher sing so LOUDLY was not normal. To me, that was just the way things were, and should be. My perspective was never challenged until that moment in my late 40’s when my Father told me how “Pony” Felch, the church moderator, took him aside one day. Then, in his wonderful old Vermont twang he said, “You know Reverend, we really appreciate your singing. But, the next time you sing a hymn from the pulpit, take a step or two back!”