For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
When Sim and I joined St. Thomas UMC 52 years ago, we were welcomed into a vibrant, nurturing community of believers. STUMC had ample opportunities to grow within a church family and to serve within the Church, the larger community and the world. Our prayer life grew as we participated in Sunday School and other groups.
At that time, St. Thomas had one children’s choir (K-5th) that was reaching unmanageable. Lynn Painter, the volunteer director of the Sunshine Choir, asked if I would consider directing a choir for K-2nd graders. After lots of prayer, the Seraphim Choir began practicing on Wednesdays at 6 PM. What a joyous blessing God provided for all of us! We started with about 13 children and grew to over 40 K-2nd graders over the next 10 years. (This was before there were so many outside activities competing for children’s time.)
We began our practice with prayer thanking God for our time to sing His praises, followed by each child thanking God for one thing. Then we sang the “Doxology,” a short praise song used in most services. We eventually learned “Gloria Patri” and “The Lord’s Prayer” also used in services anywhere. Most of all, we sang happy, joyous songs such as “Hallelu”, “Arky! Arky!,” “Clap Your Hands,” “Creature Praise,” “Love, Love, Love,” “The Butterfly Song,” “Bu-bu-bu-bu-bubbling,” “I’m A Great Big Bundle,” “ Bullfrogs and Butterflies,” “Just Like You Lord,” “Pass It On” and many more that make me happy just thinking about them. I remember and love each child that loved to sing those songs!!!
We ended our practices with some action game type songs like “Father Abraham” or “The Grand Old Duke of York” and cookies to share. We met for a full hour that went by so quickly because everyone was engaged in what was happening and the Holy Spirit was among us!!!
The Seraphim Choir sang once a month at each of the services, 8:30 and 11:00 AM using their talents to serve the Lord.
Prayer in action is love, love in action is service. - Mother Teresa
Thank you, God, for answered prayers and love that leads us into service.
In Jesus name, Amen.
About Helen Stidham
Sim and I have been members of St. Thomas since 1969. We have raised two daughters, Ashby and Audra, and have three grandchildren. I have worked as a history teacher, kindergarten teacher, mental health counselor and a mental health lobbyist for the American Counseling Association, and now, in retirement, a wildlife rehabber, specializing in squirrels. I love all God's creatures, even human beings.