Here I am sandwiched between two of the coolest, smartest Lutheran ladies I know. That's Mollie Ziegler Hemingway on the left and Elephant's Child on the right.
I couldn't decide which of these to post. We just looked so great in both of them, don't you think?
Phillip and I managed to grab President Harrison for a quick shot after his already immortalized banjo solo. The photographer, our friend Pastor Fritz Baue (who sat in with the band on fiddle), didn't quite wait for the "ready" sign, but I'm not complaining. I'll take it!
Sitting in with the bluegrass band: Pastor Baue is second in the line-up and Pastor Harrison is fourth. They just needed an accordion player!
Here are a few pictures from rehearsal the night before the installation. My husband, who was also installed yesterday on the Board for International Mission (and elected as Secretary to that Board), was asked to play for one of the musical offerings during the installation service. He provided piano accompaniment for Mrs. Monique Nunes, wife of Rev. John Nunes, who along with a small choir of friends and family, sang Richard Smallwood's "Total Praise," a musical setting of Psalm 121. The song was performed full-out in a no-holds-barred Gospel style, and there were no doubt those who didn't care for it. Phillip anticipated that there would be criticism, and it has already come, from our own dear pastor. But when the President of Synod comes knocking on your door, you don't turn him down. And in this case why would one want to? It was an absolute joy to meet Monique and the choir and watch the interplay between them and my husband as they put the song together, and I personally think their contribution to the service was magnificent. I would encourage those who found the piece to be out of their stylistic comfort zone to consider that it was a Biblical, liturgical, authentic expression of the piety of many within our synod. And there was no screen, no impassioned songleaders imploring the assembly to join in on a song they didn't know, no drumset, and no complicated production elements. There was just a song and some great singers and a piano and a guy playing it. I personally thought it was appropriate, given the catholic and international character of yesterday's service, to have one piece that wasn't led from on high by organ and 4-part white-robed choir (as much as I love both of those things).
To Mrs. Nunes and the choir, it was a pleasure to meet you and watch you prepare this piece with my husband. I'm glad Pastor Harrison invited you to sing for his installation, and I appreciate your willingness to serve. I hope our paths cross again someday. It was fun to see my husband having this much fun!