At this afternoon's opening Holy Eucharist service at the biennial conference of the National Assn. of Episcopal Schools, convened two blocks from the Alamo in sunny San Antonio, we had an energetic celebrant in the Bishop of West Texas, the Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge, and a rousing, moving sermon from the Rev. Paula Lawrence-Wehmiller.
And the music was rocking. Dr. Thomas Lee of the Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio did yeoman service on a borrowed organ, accompanied by Brass FX, another local outfit. After the service, the Come As You Are Worship Band served up some smoldering Tex-Mex praise music right off of a Joe Ely record. As one of the band's vocalists did a flute solo, I noticed the FX trombonist standing nearby with a smile that said, "Can I have a turn?" And that he did.
Most movingly, several anthems were offered by Les Petits Chanteurs, an internationally renowned boy's choir from Port-au-Prince, flown in thanks to the generosity of Episcopal institutions throughout the U.S. (including St. John's Church and School). They sang the national anthem last night at the San Antonio Spurs game (which probably would've been national news if it hadn't been for the sad word about the breakup of Tony and Eva Longoria Parker). Their sweet, high voices melted 700 hearts -- and when they capped it off with "We Are The World," as they do at all their appearances, we were standing, swaying, and beaming. Hearing these kids sing it, I'm not so sure that Jackson-Richie standard shouldn't be in the hymnal!
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