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Symphony - Monday Musing, April 4, 2022

Dear Church,

Symphony. Mark and I received a gift of Cape Symphony tickets to Saturday’s performance, Masterpiece 4 – Happy Anniversary, at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis. This is the second such gift we have received this year. The pandemic has played havoc on public performances, requiring online rather than in-person venues. With the downward trend of coronavirus cases, the Cape Symphony has returned to live concerts, albeit with vaccination and mask protocols. Mark and I were season ticket holders to the Bangor Symphony Orchestra prior to our move to Orleans, so our return to live symphony performances is a welcome treat.

I am sure that not everyone appreciates symphonic music. Whether your preferred genre of music is classical, jazz, rock, or pop, music crosses boundaries and generations. This past weekend’s performance celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Cape Symphony. In celebration, the musicians of today’s symphony presented a reimagining of the orchestra’s first performance in 1962. Sixty years later and the music still delights the audience. While there were notable standouts – flutist, harpist, Opera Soprano, and guest pianist – all who performed magically, it is tempting to single out and name only the notables.

The Apostle Paul writes in his epistle to the Corinthians, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body” (1 Cor 12:4-7, 12).

Singling out one, two, or even more without naming all diminishes the contribution of the entire orchestra. The flutist and harpist were spectacular, not because of their performance alone, but because an entire orchestra surrounded them; the Soprano had a powerful, crystal-clear voice, but her presentation could have fallen flat had the orchestra not lifted her up; and the guest pianist was amazing (and how his hands flew across the keyboard!), but the orchestra surrounding the piano tied the piece together. Each standout was a member of the orchestra, so the efforts of one were impacted by everyone in the symphony doing their part. Using Paul’s words, “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many” (1

Cor 12:14).

The ministry of Jesus Christ at The Federated Church of Orleans – our symphony – is the result of our collective efforts. Again, Paul’s words, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church…” (1 Cor 12:27-28a). The word symphony comes from the Greek word, sumphōnia, which means “sounding together, agreement of sound, harmonious.” As a community of faith, we come together by agreement and participation; we are individuals, yet members of the body of Christ. Each individual success (or failure) comes not by standouts alone, but by the greater whole. Welcome to the symphony. See you in church!




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