Well, here we are. Another choir season has come to an end, and the summer months are upon us. The Sundays keep coming and the planning never stops. How are you doing? Now is an ideal time to check in with yourself. What do you need in the next several weeks to restore, energize, and enliven you and your music ministry?
The answer to this question varies for each person, is different every year, and is important to consider. We cannot serve our congregations when we are physically, mentally, and spiritually depleted. What energizes you and how can you make whatever it is a priority during these summertime months?
For me, the summers that I attended the Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina stand out. The Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) sponsors two Worship and Music weeks each summer. The conference is intergenerational and is for anyone who takes part in the worship and music of the church. The center is nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Just being there is restorative, and the music offerings and worship are inspiring. The faculty is outstanding. This summer André Thomas will be the choral conductor. Worshiping, singing, hiking, attending the reading sessions and Routley lectures make for a very rich week!
Here are some suggestions for your consideration:
- Attend a continuing education conference or summer music clinic.
- Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM)
- Augsburg Fortress Summer Music Clinics with Jan Kraybill and Tom Trenney
- July 14-15 Twin Cities, MN
- July 26-27 Philadelphia, PA
- August 1-2 Columbus, OH
- August 5-6 Columbia, SC
- Conference for Worship, Theology & the Arts (CWTA) at St. Olaf College, July 25-28, 2022
- Play/sing pieces of music for your own enjoyment with no intention of performing them.
- Take a break from social media.
- Meet a colleague for lunch and talk about what has gone well with your ministry and what you need help figuring out.
- Begin the practice of Liturgy of the Hours
- Spend time in nature
- Attend outdoor concerts
- Get a massage
- Listen to your favorite opera
The list could go on and on and is fun and energizing to consider. My husband, Paul, asked me what I needed this summer. What a great question to be asked! My list absolutely includes attending a summer clinic, meeting a friend/colleague for lunch, and a massage!