On Sunday, September 7th, hours before a huge snowfall came to Calgary and shattered our trees, Knox United Church hosted a drumming workshop, offered by Bruce and Cheryl Harding. We were grateful they arrived before the snow did! The names of these two talented, gentle and extraordinary musicians are well known in United Church circles. Bruce was the Managing Editor of our most recent hymnbook More Voices and Cheryl has a beautiful vocal range that is featured on many of their best selling CDs.
We felt fortunate to have them with us, looping us into their Heart of the Drum tour into Western Canada.
We set up the chairs, they huddled their drums in the middle of the circle and as 7:00 o’clock rolled around, they were ready to begin. But wait! There were some empty chairs in the circle and drums to spare. So I headed off to the church gymnasium where 30 people were finishing up their evening meal, getting into their pjamyas and settling in for the night. They were our guests, thanks to the Inn From the Cold program that we host on the first Sunday of every month, in partnership with a Korean Presbyterian Church.
As I entered the gym, I was humming to myself, hoping that they would “come to the banquet” and join us in our drumming circle. They seemed reluctant at first—shy and uncertain. Were they really welcome? Bruce and Cheryl were gracious and lovely. Drums were spread all around. The teaching began and all of us became lost in the joy of making music together on our drums. We lived the moment, God’s children joined together in a circle of praise to God.
Our guests had to leave early. The bus would be picking them up at 6:30 a.m. taking the children to school and the parents back to their minimum wage jobs that simply do not cover the cost of rent, no matter how many hours in the week they work.
Before they left, they wrote us a note that said, in part:
Thank you for your hospitality tonight. We have never had the opportunity to participate in a drumming circle before. In a time of uncertainty in our lives, you have provided us with a few moments of certainty in your welcome and care for us. God bless you!
Here are some photos from the event, taken by Gordon Hunter.