Monday, May 16, 2005

goodbye lonnie

Last night our church said farewell to Lonnie Delisle, our worship pastor of ten years. It should have been a sad occasion, and yet such a joyful evening I can scarcely remember for a long time.

The choir did its season’s finale, for the last time under Lonnie’s direction. They demonstrated in every song, the musical excellence Lonnie has instilled in them, going from Black gospel to big-band, to a-capella without missing a beat. The words of each song were projected on the screen, so we in the crowd could knowingly enter in, and we did, humming, singing and clapping along. Of course, as the whole evening was devoted to musical praise and worship, there was lots of opportunity for congregation participation anyway.

A special treat was to hear Lonnie and Leon Leontaridis* in a duet. What wonderful voices (Ben Heppner, watch your back!).

[A personal observation – some of the most talented musicians, athletes and communicators are Christians. It’s thrilling to see talented young men like Lonnie and Leon, who have taken all the training and who could make it big in the world, using their talents first and foremost to give glory to God. No wonder He exalts them.]

The great music aside, the best part of the evening for me was the spirit of worship and celebration that pervaded the place. Which is one of the things I love about the church I attend. It’s as if the atmosphere is oiled, hearts are ready, and the praise, joy and celebration flow. And so though last evening was a farewell to Lonnie, it was really all about Him – our God and Savior, to Whom is due all glory and praise.

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* Listen to Leon Leontaridis. Select: "You Raise Me Up"

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