I've been going through my old recordings from Park Place... I joined the choir in February, and many of the people in the choir have made me feel more at home than I remember feeling during my initial months there. I just came upon the recording that was made the day when Alexis and I were introduced with our dogs. I sent pictures to Kristen to show up on the screen: one of me and Loretta, one of Alexis and Julia, and one of Loretta with my gray cat, Sierra. Kristen did a great job of explaining the difference between puppies in socialization (since we have raisers in the church) and working dogs who are there to help us socialize. I'm realizing now how many people really were not there--in a church that size, there really is a margin for absenteeism.
My digital recorder was sitting on the pew two rows back on the side where we were standing. Kristen invited people to come and pray with us and welcome us to the community, and while they were coming down a song was sung, "Near to the Heart of God." I love listening to these recordings with headphones on... I didn't realize that the movement of people can be heard... Not really as they move, but from one verse to another it is apparent that the location of singers has changed. I remember standing there and being totally enveloped by singing people. I knew some of them: mostly professors and retired people from AU. I realize now that many of the rest must have come down from the choir! No wonder the choir became my community!