By Kim Hester
Caroling in August? Why, yes! The Sanctuary Choir embraced a unique outreach opportunity this summer to address the isolation imposed on us by COVID-19. Each Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon since mid-July, members of the choir have gone “Covid Caroling.” The caravan typically makes two to three stops per outing. What began as a way to spread cheer and offer fellowship to choir members who were quarantining and missing contact with their church family has extended to include many others.
I was first a recipient of the Covid Caroling ministry. Eight choir members came to our home and, with appropriate social distancing in the front yard, led us in singing great hymns of faith and familiar praise songs. Jimmy and I were provided a folder with music and sang along with joy and a few tears. The carolers asked for prayer requests and prayed specifically for our concerns. It was such a delight to see familiar faces, and their visit lifted my spirits in a way I was not anticipating.
The next week I signed up to be a caroler. We were privileged to sing for Harold and Julia Smith and the neighbors in their cul-de-sac; Tommy Dixon, Bob and Joyce Byrd, and dozens of residents at Harmony of Brentwood; and choir member Johnny Haines. It was equally as touching to watch these friends join us in singing favorite hymn texts. We even took a few requests! Of course, it wouldn’t be “caroling” without a Christmas carol, so every outing concludes with the singing of “Joy to the World!”
Since the ministry began two months ago, visits have been made to 260 individuals at 57 homes and retirement facilities. Twenty-six choir members have been part of the caroling team, usually 6-8 per outing. The caravan has traveled to Gallatin, Hendersonville, Lebanon, Mount Juliet, Green Hills, West Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, and College Grove. Many thanks to Marilu White and Catherine Williams for coordinating this ministry and to all who brought tidings of comfort, joy, and hope to those who have felt isolated while we have been unable to gather in person for worship.