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  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Piper,

    I am on the board of one of my performing organizations, and we will be sending out a survey of the members regarding what it will take for them to want to restart. Most of the questions are forced choice (i.e. Do you plan to continue with ____), but others are open-ended. We want the members to tell us how they truly feel so we can gauge an appropriate startup strategy when the time comes. It allows our members to "be heard" on many different levels. Those questions are something like: Under what conditions would you be comfortable restarting ____? (i.e. vaccine availability, distancing precautions, sectionals, smaller segments of the group, etc.).

    Perhaps the church members could do the same thing?

    Michael

  • Piperdane
    replied
    Palm Sunday was our last corporate worship service. With the Covid 10 situation we went through Holy Week and then Easter in a most unusual fashion, that is holding worship services with no congregation in attendance. A most strange and eerie experience and a first for me in my 59+ years as a church organist.

    The Sunday before the prelude was "Vision" by Rheinberger. As I look back on that day, how appropriate that prelude title actually was, even before we even knew about the upcoming pandemic.

    I've been fortunate that I have had, and still do have, unrestricted access to the sanctuary and the organ during these uncertain times ... and like John mentions above, I've been practicing more than ever before. We first started audio only streaming service, then added video to the mix. Currently the music staff pre-tapes/records the hymns, liturgy and vocal/instrumental solos during the week prior to each Sunday. We used to have 4 services of which I played for three. Currently we have one service and combine all the elements of those 4 services into one so we use a mixture of different things for preludes, etc, including using the piano and/or organ. Amazing what can be done with mixing different instruments that have been previously recorded.

    I started using video for the recording of my postludes, showing the organ console with me playing ... It has been quite successful.

    When will corporate worship resume for us? Nobody knows for sure, just yet, and we are awaiting directions from our Presiding Bishop of the ELCA for guidance. This pandemic has also affected our local AGO chapter (I serves as membership and publicity chair) in trying to schedule events for the coming season. We will have a virtual meeting for this month, and the annual Member's Showcase Concert will be done virtually instead of a live attended performance.

    I have also been very fortunate that my church has been able to fully fund all staff members salaries during this pandemic; we have a large (1,400 members) church that is very loving and give generously to their church. The church secretary tells me that she receives calls almost every day from the members asking when worship services will resume that they can attend. We all miss corporate worship to no end, myself included. It is a rather humbling experience to play hymns for an empty house of worship, but that is why I do, and my congregation deserves no less during the experience of a streaming worship as they would have if they were physically attending.

    When does this pandemic end? Nobody knows for certain ... we now have an opening for our choir accompanist position as the present accompanist has received her DMA in piano performance and will be moving out of the area. It's hard to post for a position when we don't have any idea of when the start date will be. Lots of uncertainty in this day and age ... being isolated at home for months isn't happening either. I can't even go see my Son and his family during this time and he only lives 20 miles away!! Feeling quite isolated, but playing music is my gyroscope and it keeps me in balance.

    My prelude for the first Sunday of corporate worship will be "Fanfare for The Common Man" by Copland ... thinking how appropriate that will be and how moving that experience will be when that day arrives.

    Leave a comment:


  • Organfella
    replied
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    Nico,

    I wish I could be sure about that! The actions of some make me wonder.

    Michael
    You are right of course and I agree - but lets keep my comments about being on the same side to include only the rational thinking soldiers. The others will soon find out their mistake!
    Nico

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by Organfella View Post
    Interesting view Michael. And the best of all is that in this World war we are all on the same side!
    Nico,

    I wish I could be sure about that! The actions of some make me wonder.

    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • Organfella
    replied
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
    Bill,

    You bring up a good analogy. We're in a world war–the enemy is just invisible (or microscopic). Battling a visible enemy (I would think) is similar to striking out against an invisible enemy.


    Michael
    Interesting view Michael. And the best of all is that in this World war we are all on the same side!

    Nico

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Oh, crap. I made yet another spelling mistake!

    Michael

  • jbird604
    commented on 's reply
    "poopulation" -- interesting word, Michael. Actually might be appropriate for a certain demographic.... (Oops, I shouldn't have said that out loud.)

  • myorgan
    replied
    Bill,

    You bring up a good analogy. We're in a world war–the enemy is just invisible (or microscopic). Battling a visible enemy (I would think) is similar to striking out against an invisible enemy.

    Originally posted by voet View Post
    I have friends and family who lived in Europe during the war. They endured incredible hardships. In the small country of the Netherlands alone over 20,000 people died of starvation during the Hunger Winter of 1944-45. People ate tulip bulbs to stay alive.
    I wondered why I saw so many tulips when landing at Schiphol a few years ago. Now I know it's to help feed the population should there be another war.

    Seriously, our Dutch exchange student never mentioned what you did about the impact of WW2 on her country. On the other hand, she may not have known.

    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Thank you, Nico! BTW, what wrinkles? I don't see any unless I pass a mirror!

    You are correct in referring a mental age. I teach elementary & middle school, and often I'm the youngest person there (in mind–at least).

    Michael

  • voet
    replied
    In today's Ask Amy column, a woman wrote in expressing her anxiety about dealing with the risks during the pandemic. Amy's answer really resonated with me:
    .
    Every time I feel frustrated by the undefined scope of this pandemic, I think about the people of Europe during WWII. Their deadly and destabilizing journey lasted for years. Surely, we can “keep calm and carry on,” too.

    I have friends and family who lived in Europe during the war. They endured incredible hardships. In the small country of the Netherlands alone over 20,000 people died of starvation during the Hunger Winter of 1944-45. People ate tulip bulbs to stay alive.

    I certainly do not intend to minimize the pain and hardships that many are suffering right now. We try to do small things like giving our empty deposit bottles to a woman who needs the money, ordering take-out from restaurants to help them stay afloat, and tipping generously to the people who deliver our groceries. These are very small gestures, but if enough people do what they can, hopefully it will ease the difficulties that others are facing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Organfella
    replied
    Originally posted by myorgan View Post

    I agree it's been a bummer of a year, as I started it with heart surgery. Today was my 2nd day of school, and I could barely walk! I guess I'm not as recovered as I thought I was! But it'll only get better. At some point we can only get so low before we have to look up.

    Michael
    Michael, sorry to hear. I pray that you will soon be back to your healthy self - but do take it easy. When one has irreversibly entered the "wrinkle" years one must listen when your body speaks to you. A little pain here, short of breath there or a new crackle in the joint - these are all body verbs that one should take note of, but often we do not. I for one tend to want to ignore them and sooner or later will have to acknowledge: You are no longer 18!! That part is perhaps the most difficult!
    Nico

    Leave a comment:


  • myorgan
    commented on 's reply
    We have less people overall. Your poopulation is about 2-1/2 times larger than ours.

    Michael

  • jbird604
    commented on 's reply
    Interesting that your numbers are that low. Of course Maine is a small state, and folks up north have generally done a better job at containing the virus than we have down here!

  • myorgan
    replied
    Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
    Here in Arkansas, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the overall trend in new cases is downward. For a while we were seeing 1000 or so new cases every day, but now it's typically fewer than 500 per day. Hospitalizations have stabilized between 400 and 500, and deaths occur at about 5 to 10 most days, sometimes a few more or less.
    [snip]
    So, not much different here in the southern US, Michael. Bummer of a year. I'm about ready to chime in with so many about 2020 just being a cursed year from the start.
    John,

    Those numbers, for me, are extreme. We've only had approximately 4,500 cases since the beginning with just over 100 deaths. We're looking at maybe 10-20 new cases daily, but as many are recovering. Fortunately, deaths don't happen often.

    I agree it's been a bummer of a year, as I started it with heart surgery. Today was my 2nd day of school, and I could barely walk! I guess I'm not as recovered as I thought I was! But it'll only get better. At some point we can only get so low before we have to look up.

    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • jbird604
    commented on 's reply
    A close friend of mine attended a family gathering a few weeks ago. Someone brought the virus, there was little in the way of social distancing or other safety measures, and as a result several tested positive the following week. Some had very bad symptoms for a short time, including a teenager who was deathly sick for a few days, but my friend only had mild symptoms for less than a week. Best I know all have recovered without major complications.

    One of my customers had to be in the hospital for a minor procedure and apparently caught the virus while there. As far as I know she is recovering well.

    A former church associate contracted the disease two or three months ago and spent a very long time in the hospital, about a month, I think. He almost died, got better and went home, then had a relapse and had to spend more time in the hospital before finally being declared recovered.

    I feared that I had it three or four weeks ago, after having been in contact with the above-mentioned friend. After a few days of cold-like symptoms, I went to a testing site and got swabbed. But the test came back negative, so apparently I only had (and still have a bit of) a summer cold and/or allergies acting up.

    So it seems to be a highly variable disease, very serious for some people, just a minor inconvenience for others.
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