So, today was my last day at CLC. Amazingly, I slept pretty well last night, but was up a bit early, and arrived at church very early. Even so, my co-organist Luther was there already, but he kindly let me warm up first. I spent 20 minutes running through what little I was playing on organ-- liturgy, and one trumpet/organ piece. Then I stepped out while he warmed up. The next half hour got rather hectic, but I managed to warm up with everyone who really needed it, and then all the musicians for the day gathered for prayer.
Then we were off. Five different pianists each played one piece for the prelude. Sadly, the only adult had a rough go of it, while the four young people were all brilliant. The contemporary group played the opening hymn, one that the congregation likes and sang well. Two of our Congolese women sang next; then a gospel hymn with trumpet and saxophone, both played by dear friends. Pretty sure there was a sermon next, though I can't say much about it! For the offertory, nearly all the musicians gathered to sing 10,000 Reasons; I even sang a solo, just to make sure folk would be glad I'm leaving! (I actually think it sounds pretty good; it suits my voice well.) Communion music was a trumpet solo and two more vocal solos. At the end of the service Pastor called my family forward for a parting blessing, along with another family who are leaving as well. I knew that might happen, so had asked my co-organist to play the last hymn and postlude. I slipped into the front row of the congregation and cried through that hymn; my friend Deanna brought my darling Lillian over to me, which helped a lot.
There was a reception afterwards. I cut line to admire the cake so they would start cutting it, and then circulated, chatting with folks for a long time. There was very brief speechifying, and a table with really delightful, thoughtful gifts and lots of cards.
It really was exactly the way I wanted it to be-- still hard, but the best possible ending to my time at CLC. And I go back in 3 weeks to play for a wedding, so it didn't feel terribly final.