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Our May spring choir concert had been given the theme “How Can I Keep From Singing” and on the darker days, I roll my eyes at the irony and say that, well, this quarantine is how we keep from singing. And yet, through all I see around me, we cannot be kept from singing. Maybe our song becomes even more meaningful. So this month’s musings are brought to you by the text of the hymn that inspired me for the concert and for the last decade.

What though my joys and comforts die? I know my Savior liveth. What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night God giveth. Though the comforts of our usual gatherings are not available right now, we have found many ways to be together. We still workshop on FacebookLive. I am sure all of you have heard of Zoom and hopefully have been able to use it for meals and game nights with others. If you are my friend on Facebook, you probably know that I do a weekly Saturday piano hour where I play for you and me for a little levity and connection. Many musicians make music from their balco- nies or over Facebook. Even if we cannot be in church together, I hope you still sing along with the songs you hear and with our hymns.

I lift my eyes, the cloud grows thin. I see the blue above it. And day by day this pathway smooths, Since first I learned to love it.

Here are the things that give me hope, where I see “the blue above it” in this new normal: the numbers that are still climbing yet beginning to slow down, the generosity of neighbors and local business, the chalked sidewalks and rain- bowed windows. We have hope that this path, as we keep walking faithfully, will get smoother. This is temporary.

No storm can shake my inmost calm. While to that refuge clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth. How can I keep from singing? The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord. So, dear church, I hope this situation doesn’t keep you from sing- ing. Jesus is still Lord of all, and that’s a fact we can cling to and sing about. Sing in your home, on your walks, in your car. Sing with your kids, your partner, your dog or cat, your friends, or by yourself. As Augustine said, when you sing, you pray twice. So be safe and well, and don’t let anyone or anything keep you from singing.

Have you been wanting to learn how to read music? Do you kind of follow the dots on the page, or do you rely on your pew neighbor in church, or do you just kinda “fake it” on Sunday mornings? Now is the time to learn how to read music! Pauline is offering Zoom sessions for anyone interested – both group and individual meetings work. You do not need to know anything about music as long as you are willing to learn! Contact her for more information.