Bringing Down the Holy Spirit: Sacred Singing, Rooted in Community

Sojourners, October 2004

On a Sunday morning in late June, five singers stand at the altar of Shiloh Community Methodist Church in southern Maryland, “warming up” the church. They sing a cappella, circling the pews as congregants trickle in and join the singing. When the church is sufficiently warmed—in fact, dozens of paper fans, compliments of Thornton Funeral Home, are waving vigorously—the singers retreat to don their purple and white robes and take their place with Shiloh’s Sanctuary Unity Choir for the procession that will officially open the service.

Soon powerful voices are filling the worship space, accented by the hit of a tambourine. Hands are raised, some toward heaven, some toward the stained-glass portrait behind the altar that shows Jesus standing next to the River Jordan, his own arms stretched out to Shiloh’s congregation.

A couple in the second row, Michael and Carrie Kline, add their own voices to the singing. Later they’ll come forward for the healing service and prayers of the people. This Sunday, they’ve left their recording equipment at home. …

Read the rest of the article at Sojourners.