Soli Deo Gloria!
It is not you that sings, it is the church that is singing, and you, as a member may share in its song. Thus all singing together that is right must serve to widen our spiritual horizon, make us see our little company as a member of the great Christian church on earth, and help us willingly and gladly to join our singing, be it feeble or good, to the song of the church.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
I can honestly say that, in my more than thirty years of pastoral ministry, working with Valerie Shields has been one of the highlights. Never have I worked with such a fine liturgical musician. In leading the assembly in song, accompanying choirs, and mentoring persons both young and old, Valerie has brought heart and soul to her vocation.
Liturgical musicians are called not to entertain, but to lead the song of the assembly in worshiping God. It’s a challenging task and it is a challenge Valerie has met. It has never been about her. She is dedicated to the song of the assembly and helping the assembly sing.
Singing together in worship is a great gift. Through liturgy and song, the diverse textures of life and faith are given expression and the mystery of God is celebrated not in one word or image or note but through many notes, chords, rhythms, and modes of speech. We are blessed with a rich and full repertoire of hymnody and music, and with musical leadership dedicated to giving God glory.
It is such a privilege and honor to work with the talented musicians at Phinney. Valerie has made her mark in helping us pray and praise. Please join me this month in celebrating and giving thanks for her ministry among us.