Sunday, December 23, 2007

Grinchy, II

Cheesehead
is a bit grinchy. I am feeling a bit that way, too. Our choir cantata was today. The music was OK, but the narration was awful (the narrators spoke well, the works stank). Didn't do much for telling the Christmas story or put the music in context. The pieces were mostly original compositions which bore no relationship to Christmas (the piece about Mary was called Silver Wings) with endings of familiar Christmas carols. At the end, the music director stood up and gestured towards the choir (as those do at the end of secular musical productions) to elict additional applause. It's not a performance. It's a way of worshiping God. (Note to self: stop ranting)

The music director never has time to meet with me. I am saddled with (with two different groups of people) negotiating a salary for her and negotiating a position description to move her to permanent from interim. We have four singers who are paid. When I question this, I'm told that otherwise we wouldn't have a choir. My position is that if we didn't have paid people, folks would feel less intimidated. The worship committee chair wants us to have really, really good music (she sings in a professional group). We should have Bach, etc and lots of organ music.

We have a budget of over $200,000. (Some of the funds are from building usage fees.) We spend less than $6000 a year on benevolences. We spend $16,000 on singers. We don't have a regular organist, but will pay one to play at a service more than we pay a preacher who substitutes for me when I'm gone. The worship committee chair's method of getting enough money in her budget to pay the organist was to use a woman from the congregation who is planning to go to seminary to lead worship in my absence and not pay her. There is something wrong here.

It's gonna be a long, slow slog.