These past few weeks have been filled with so much joy and memory-making in my own life.
The Fourth of July this year marked my mother's 80th birthday. Our family and extended family of friends gathered in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, for a three-day "Festival of Yvette." It was a wonderful celebration for my mom and my presence there was a surprise for her. Spending time with family always makes me miss being closer to them, but I was so grateful to be there for the celebration.
On Sunday morning of that weekend, before I left the coast of Maine, I purchased two lobsters and had them steamed and packed; I had promised two of my WLP colleagues, Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson and Keith Kalemba, that I would provide a picnic dinner for them on Sunday night as we traveled to the NPM convention on Amtrak from Union Station here in Chicago. I had very little time once my plane from Portland, Maine landed at O'Hare mid-afternoon on Sunday. But I got all the ingredients together and was able to serve a nice white wine with some crackers as an appetizer. Then came the "Maine" course;" a picnic of lobster rolls, fruit, vegetables, and Cape Cod potato chips. Lots of fun on our four-hour journey to Grand Rapids.
There is so much to say about the NPM convention. First of all, I wish that many more people had attended; attendance has been waning in the last few years. Lots of reasons have been posited for this reality and, of course, we are all hoping for greater numbers in Houston next summer. That being said, I do believe that we at WLP provided some great learning, praying, and singing opportunities for those gathered in Grand Rapids. I have already spoken about the marvelous evening with the Notre Dame Folk Choir at Saint Andrew's Cathedral in a previous post. A few more photos of that wonderful event.
This year in our exhibit space, we had live acoustic music, drawn from our various instrumental collections. It was a delight to hear our music come alive.
Our music showcase was on Thursday afternoon, late into the convention. The folks in the room were obviously growing weary from the various activities that had filled their week, but they were engaged and sang our pieces so well. Here's a photo of WLP's Worship Resources Editor, Mary Kiefer, and me on the stage just before the showcase (we were part of the WLP choir for the event.)
You can see that Mary and I are wearing our WLP "One in Faith" shirts; it was at NPM that our new hardbound hymnal One in Faith was officially launched. It was so satisfying to look out and see over a thousand musicians singing joyfully from the hymnal that was five exciting years in the making!
And here is most of our WLP staff during our booth tear down in the early evening of Thursday.
It made me so happy and proud to see all of our team members, brand new and "seasoned" being so helpful to those who serve the Church in liturgical and musical ministries.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.