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The End: Day 13

If you’ve ever graduated from highschool or college, moved away from home, changed jobs, or experienced any significant life change you know precisely how it feels to have a list of last things.

“That was the last time I will _____”

There’s an odd mix of emotion during these last things – usually a sense of joy, accomplishment, or anticipation tempered with a heavy dose of sorrow and sentimentality.

As tour concludes we’ve been feeling the whirlwind of these emotions and ticking last thing actions off of our list:

  • Our last program

  • Our last roll call

  • Our last orchestra style warm-up

  • And the list could go on and on

But today was truly the last day of Laudate 2023.

Our goal for the day?

To shoot some quality video footage that we can release later (please stay tuned) and to wrap up our time together in a way that allowed us all to sort through a few of those whirlwinds of emotions and say goodbye for now.

Our day started at Bondsville Mill Park where we captured the glow of early morning light, and basked in the brisk coolness of the morning. Video day doesn’t require voices that are in tip-top shape so we happily kicked off our day by guzzling the cold brew coffee provided by Laura. Mmm – yes. Goodness in a cup.

Geryll Zehr from Visualore Media was our producer, director, and camera operator. We quickly became familiar with the commands “Cameras rolling” “Music rolling” and ‘Cut!” Geryll handled everything with efficiency and grace. Thank you!

When the mosquitoes started to cross the line from annoying to unbearable at Bondsville, we packed up and headed to The Arches. After a quick lunch break we resumed our recording in the beautiful remodeled church space. We were warned that the AC turning on sounded like a car careening into the building. Surprisingly enough, this was an astoundingly accurate statement.

AC aside, the space was gorgeous. Thank you so much to The Arches for letting us use your space!

We also discovered this space was fantastic for singing so we took some time to throw-in a few non-programmed songs during breaks and at the end of the day experimented with chords and overtones.

We gave a hearty cheer after the words “That’s a wrap” and headed to Cliff and Trina’s to rest our weary bodies. We gathered in the living room for a formal wrap up time where long faces accurately reflected the reality that Laudate 2023 was nearly over.

But sprinkled in were plenty of belly laughs, praise reports, testimonies of refreshment, and heartfelt thanks.

And can you imagine a better way to end things than gathering around the campfire, our bellies full from the lavish spread of salad, steak, and shrimp all prepared to me perfection?

Me neither.

It was no fun to walk around the circle saying our final goodbyes and giving last hugs. But as A.A. Milne has so aptly said “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”.

Hard goodbyes mean something good happened while we were together. Thank you so much to each and every member of the Laudate 2023 for being absolutely amazing. Hard-working, responsible, funny, lovers of God, and Kingdom-bringers and are all words that describe you.

And finally a deep, heartfelt thanks to each community that welcomed us this year. From song leaders to hosts, to community contacts you rolled out the red carpet in service. This does not go unnoticed and we are so grateful for the love in action you showed to us.

From here, we look forward to going home to our communities and churches and using what we have learned to contribute there.

Until next time,

- Jordan Lehman

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