“I realized this morning that I’ve been at NFC for half my life,” said Mauri to me. “Of course, I did a few things before I came here.”
This is a month of “lasts,” as Mauri finishes out his 33 years as pastor of worship ministries. This morning he led the handbell choir for the last time. [If you want to listen, click here.] Eryn Mckee, one of the ringers, wrote this on Facebook:
“Today was our last play date for the season, and it brought mixed emotions. Mauri, our fearless leader, is retiring after 33 years as the NFC worship pastor. At this point we don’t know what the future brings for our little group. As we finished our last song this morning, many of us had tears in our eyes. We know that no matter what happens, our group won’t be the same.
Thank you, Mauri, for a wonderful 16 years full of friendship, laughs, tears, ‘roadmaps,’ your ‘two stories,’ a lot of patience, and your music leadership.
Thank you for sharing your love of God and music with us. Enjoy your retirement, it is well earned! — feeling blessed.”
The bell choir started ringing 25 years ago. Only Mauri and one other ringer were part of the original group. These current ringers exhibit absolute dedication to and love for the whole. With handbells, every player counts!
Next Sunday the worship ensemble (a.k.a. choir) will have our season finale, and we will no doubt be thinking about its significance in the same way. It’s a little unusual to anticipate sadness, but it has pre-dawned on me that after my 20 years of singing with this group, I’ll be closing out my own public singing years.
No, wait—I’m singing a duet with Quinn at Taylor’s wedding in a couple of weeks. Maybe that other thing I said might not be true after all.
But this post isn’t about me; it’s about Mauri. So before you leave, maybe you’d take a minute or two to read what was published in a recent church newsletter.