Front Row Singing

November 16, 2018
By Vicki Bunke

Journal entry by Vicki Bunke — Nov 12, 2018

A few weeks following Grace’s funeral, I was talking with some friends over dinner. We discussed many things that evening, but much of our conversation was focused on Grace as well as another person whom we all loved that had died shortly before her. At one point I said to the group, ‘This year’s Carols For Christmas just won’t be the same without Robert.’ After agreeing with me, my friend Carrie replied, ‘You know if we are all going to really live in the front row, we would be in this year’s Carols for Christmas concert rather than just going to watch it.’ I responded, ‘Is that even possible? Do they let anyone sing?’

The answer to that question, thanks to our friend Michelle’s investigative work is…yes! Suzanne Tucker and the Mt Bethel UMC Chancel Choir welcomes everyone to join them. Which, believe it or not, is what we all decided to do. In an effort to continue to honor Grace and Robert, a small group of us decided that we would engage in Front Row Singing by joining the Chancel Choir for this year’s Carols For Christmas.

But please do not worry…Front Row Singing does not mean that anyone was foolish enough to allow us to actually sing in the front row. No, it just means that we recognize and appreciate the fact that we are all gifted with the same type of borrowed time, just different journeys. Front Row Singing means that we know that how we choose to embrace our journey despite its uncontrollable uncertainties is what allows us to truly live.

Front Row Singing can mean different things to everyone: jumping off of cliffs, going skydiving, making endless memories with friends and families, reaching your goals, writing that novel, seeing the world, or joining the church choir. Regardless of how it manifests itself, I truly believe that Front Row Singing has common ground for everyone. We all want to live this one life the best way that we can. We want to be able to come to the end of it and boldly say:

I have truly lived. I made the most out of every moment given to me. I honored God by using the gifts and talents He bestowed upon me. I embraced a conscious approach to life – a life whereby I actively participated in it rather than merely watching it happen.

I certainly will be thinking of Grace and Robert on the evenings of December 7th and 9th while we perform in each Carols for Christmas concert. And I will always be thankful to Suzanne and company for allowing our small group the opportunity to engage in Front Row Singing. As such, I definitely hope you will consider joining us in the front row festivities. I believe it is going to be spectacular or at the very least amazing (wink wink). Although admission is free, you need to reserve your tickets and that can be done here: Mt Bethel UMC Christmas for Carols

I think that you may want to get there early…I hear the front row is expected to fill up quickly! 

‘A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.’ (William Shedd)

PS – It only seems fitting to re-share Robert McMichael’s (and the incredible accompaniment of Chuck Newman on the piano) most beautiful version of Amazing Grace that he lovingly sang at the morning church service before Grace’s rotationplasty surgery. We all miss you dearly, Grace and Robert, and we will honor you both at Carols for Christmas. Thank you for blessing us with your lives. We love you.

Amazing Grace – How Sweet the Sound