The ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  Isaiah 51:11, NKJV

As we approach the fall season and the return to activities at Covenant, some may consider how they may become more involved in the “work of the kingdom.”  We may recall the scripture in Isaiah 6:8: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And our grateful reply may well be, as Isaiah himself, “Here am I! Send me.” But the call may not be to lead a nation in the ways of the Lord, or to journey to a foreign land in a missionary capacity. If we examine the many gifts we have already received from the Lord’s hand, we may discover a talent for music, not just a love of music but a talent in singing or playing that we acquired earlier but haven’t exercised.

Some claim to be unable to “carry a tune in a bucket,” having been discouraged by some “authority” in youth or childhood from publicly exposing those talents. The malady of “tone deafness” is rare, indeed, and does not represent a basic inability to sing and to raise through regular use the accuracy and beauty of those very tones. Rather, what is called for is a willingness to make an appearance among others who have “borne the bur- den and the heat of the day” in the regular exercise and sharing of their musical gifts.

A verse from the familiar hymn, “Take My Life” says it well: “Take my voice and let me sing always, only, for my King; take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.” This fall season may be just the time to let your voice be heard in singing the songs of Zion.  As you think about sharing your musical talents, consider others among your family and friends who also have musical gifts, and invite them to come with you to the “friendly church on East Meadow Drive.” Better still . . . offer them a ride and bring them along!

Our new music season begins Thursday, Sep- tember 7, with the Covenant Ringers Bell Choir rehearsing in the Sanctuary at 6:45 p.m., and the Sanctuary Choir beginning at 8:00 p.m.

On Saturday, September 9, the Sanctuary Choir will have its annual Choral Retreat and Workshop, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the Sanctuary. This workshop, conducted by YoonGeong Lee, will offer an excellent opportunity to refresh our vocal skills and learn some new singing techniques. Ms. Lee is a well known vocal teacher and San Francisco Symphony Chorus soloist. She will also perform in our Chamber Concert series in January.

This fall our ringers and singers will be busy preparing for some special programs. Our Covenant Ringers Handbell Choir will join the ringers of Grace Lutheran Church of Palo Alto, Tim Getz, Director, in a Covenant Festival of Bells on Saturday, November 18, at 4:00 p.m. in our Sanctuary. The Sanctuary Choir will begin pre- paring for the premier performance of Immanuel, an Advent cantata composed for them by their director. The choir will be accompanied by flute, harp, and strings.

What wonderful opportunities await your participation. Come, with your talents, your goodwill, and your love of God.  You’ll be glad you did!

O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’  Isaiah 40:9, NKJV

Donald E. Dillard