UUCC’s Chalice Choir has played a pivotal role in reconnecting me to my Unitarian Universalist roots. After my family relocated to Columbia, Maryland from California, years ago, leaving behind our UU church there, I became a lapsed UU. I visited UUCC off and on but was unsure how I fit in, never feeling quite at home. Sunday services always engaged me intellectually and emotionally and the talent and dynamism of the congregation always impressed, but something was missing.
I remembered having conversations with a very dear friend who had joined the Chalice Choir several years ago and hearing her say how rehearsals were a highlight of her week. Although intrigued and a bit jealous, my inner voice always rejoined: you’re not a singer; the rehearsal schedule won’t work; you’re not even a member of UUCC. But my attitude started to change after friends, several of whom were choir members, discovered that I loved music and one of them urged me to attend the upcoming Christmas Music Service. I’m so glad she did!
The glorious sounds I heard at that service, including some of my favorite carols, touched me deeply. Listening to the choir reminded me of the spiritual powers of music, surely, but also reminded me of the joy I have experienced making music with others. From my earliest memories sitting on the piano bench next to my mother as she played carols and I sang along to my years in high school band, creating music with others has brought me the greatest sense of belonging and unity.
This epiphany spurred me to action. While I was nervous about joining the Chalice Choir, Tom Benjamin, our music director, has been extraordinarily kind and helpful. Other choristers also welcomed me and have been ceaselessly supportive. Now I eagerly anticipate Thursday rehearsals: the music is new and challenging, yet the two hours fly by, leaving me feeling energized. At a recent Sunday service I sat with the choir for the first time. When we faced the congregation and began to sing, the boundaries between choir and congregation blurred. I felt we were enveloped by the beautiful harmonies and a loving energy. I knew that I was finally home at UUCC. icon-fire