From the beginning of this pandemic, I’ve known the arts would both suffer and sustain us. It is always that way with art. Artists struggle. In their struggle, they dream, create and share the nourishment of spiritual survival. When people ask what I’ve missed most during the pandemic, my quick answer is contact with family—biological family and faith family. On the heels of this confession, I always add…I miss the music. I miss attending the symphony, enjoying the Broadway shows, hearing a full choir, attending concerts, and slipping into small downtown venues to hear local bands.
From the beginning of this pandemic, First Baptist has recognized our need for the artistic expressions of faith and the needs of artists to have a venue for expression. In order to fund artists and nourish the famine of art in our own souls, we’ve consistently invited guest musicians to participate in our broadcasted worship services. We sponsored a series of Saturday evening Facebook Live Concerts (which became a model for several other churches and artists). We have worked hard to find creative and safe ways to bring our own musicians together. All of these efforts have kept our worship meaningful, our artists affirmed, and our souls fed.
From the beginning of this pandemic, Shelton Ridge Love’s presence at our church organ has been a staple. Whether presenting musical weeknight vespers, leading in worship, or rehearsing with choirs, we’ve come to depend on his artistry to sustain us. I hope you will join me this Thursday evening—via Livestream or Facebook Live—to enjoy Shelton’s organ recital. This is one more gift Shelton is giving to our church and community. The recital will begin at 7:00pm. Tell your friends. Gather your family. Pour a glass of wine (or water or cola or decaf coffee or hot tea or whatever calms your spirit). Write an encouraging word in the chat box. Allow your soul to be nourished by the music we all miss.

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