The Power of Play

Published by FirstUUAdmin on

by Jessica Wirges

The opening words are by George Bernard Shaw.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

Prelude:
Children’s Songs
Public Domain Nursery Rhymes
Performed by Jessica Wirges, Eugene Wirges, and Friends

This is truly some delightful PLAY on display! Jessica and Susanne had such a great idea for this service. Thanks to Jessica and Eugene Wirges and their sweet friends for being willing to lend their voices to this beautiful compilation of familiar nursery rhyme songs. May we find ourselves sufficiently centered and ready to play by entering our service to the sound of children’s laughter and song.

Each of these nursery rhymes has its own unique history, so if you’re in the mood to play, I recommend taking some time to search that out.

  • Emily McKinney, Music Director

Offertory:
Let It Be a Dance
Words and Music: Ric Masten, Arr. Betty A. Wylder
Used with Permission
Performed by Paul Phariss and Rebecca Holt

This selection was another brilliant suggestion from Susanne and Jessica for this service and I’m so glad Paul and Rebecca were willing to record it for us. A playful life is truly a delicate dance we do – a dance with the various parts of ourselves and with one another. Sometimes it’s an easy two-step and sometimes we’re waltzing in two left roller skates. Letting ourselves join in the dance and just “go with it” is part of how we stay playful and stay resilient. Rebecca shares that she got to hear the songwriter perform this live once and he shared important lessons on resilience. I love thinking about the connection between a playful spirit and resilience in life.

I can’t say any better about this song than Rev. Kimberly DeBus did here. https://farfringe.com/stlt311-let-it-be-a-dance/

Fortunately for us, Paul is definitely our “good folk singer with a guitar.”

  • Emily McKinney, Music Director

Interlude:
Polonaise in G Minor
Opus Posthumous
Frederic Chopin
Public Domain Work
Performed by Carter Meints

Carter is another beloved member of this community we love to see “at play” and he gets more skilled at it with each passing week, it seems. Michelle sent me this recording just as I was beginning to contemplate the theme of Play and I immediately loved how playful the piece itself sounded to me. Carter’s playing makes me wish I had started playing the piano at a younger age, but it also continually inspires me to keep practicing with the adult brain I have. Play like this that feeds the soul is so worthy of our time and attention and I’m grateful for the example of all the excellent musicians in this community that keep me playing each day.

You can read more about Carter’s piece here: https://en.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/composition/detail/page/8/id/2

  • Emily McKinney, Music Director

Postlude:
Arioso from Cantata BWV 156 – Adagio
Public Domain Work
Performed by Lee Beasley and Mark McKinney

One of the most cool features of my life is getting to see Mark working with his students from time to time. It’s even better when one of those students is another beloved member of this community. I’m so excited to celebrate Lee Beasley at Play and showcase all her recent hard work and progress on the violin. I was just saying about Carter’s piece that learning an instrument as an adult is no easy feat. Lee is another person who inspires me to sit down and practice each day. What an honor to be a community that she is choosing to share her play and her musical journey with.

Here are some program notes for this beautiful Bach work:
“Bach’s Cantata 156 is one of over 200 works composed for specific occasions in the Lutheran liturgical calendar. Bach wrote this particular cantata in Leipzig in 1729, for the Third Sunday after Epiphany. At this point in his life, Bach was employed as Kapellmeister at St. Thomas Church, a post he held from 1723 until his death in 1750. The Arioso – the simple, unadorned melody that begins the opening Sinfonia – was later used as material for a harpsichord concerto. The first movement has an irresistible, pastoral quality, beginning in F major before transitioning to C Major in the later movements. Some Bach scholars believe this journey from F to C Major – by way of a descent into a somber d minor – may represent “sickness moving towards death,” followed by a heavenly resolution. ” (Credit: Benjamin Tisherman)

  • Emily McKinney, Music Director

The closing words are by Neil Gaiman.
The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.