A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….well, a long time ago…LPs were the dominant musical medium. LP (long playing) records spun on a record player at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute (rpm) and contained multiple songs on each side. Single song records spun on the record player at 45 revolutions per minute (thus, called 45s) and had one song on each side. LPs were eventually replaced by 8 track tapes…which were eventually replaced by cassettes…which were eventually replaced by CDs (compact discs)….which were eventually replaced by downloaded digital music…which was eventually replaced by streamed music…which is now being replaced by…well, LPs. We’ve come full circle and are once again enjoying the ‘warm, crackling sound’ of spinning vinyl.

When it comes to music, LP does not have to stand for Long Playing. I’d like to shift the acronym today. For our purposes, I’d like LP to stand for Listening and Participating. Music is truly the universal language. In biblical literature, it is referenced more than prayer, preaching, giving, heaven or hell. Everyone enjoys music in some form. Some of us gravitate to a particular genre: rock, classical, blues, jazz, world or country. Many are eclectic in their appreciation of rhythm, sound and lyric. All of us, however, have the ability to listen to and/or participate in the language of music. This issue of The Branch is meant to give you a glimpse of the musical life of First Baptist. I hope you’ll read every article. Find those days and spaces where you can relax and listen to the music provided. I would challenge you to dream of finding a place where you can participate in the ministry of music: join a choir, play an instrument, lead in music education or sing the hymns on Sunday.

Listen and participate. It’s the LP of music at First Baptist Greenville…and I hope God delights in all our joyful noises.

— Jim

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