Corpus Christi: A Weekend of Worship and Song

Early last Friday, my friend Vikki and I drove to Corpus Christi to attend a Choral Workshop held at the First United Methodist Church. We left at 7:30 am because we thought going through San Antonio on Interstate 35 during rush hour would be a nightmare but lo and behold, it was not.  Traffic was heavy but no stop and go which left us perplexed.  Why, oh why, was rush hour traffic in San Antonio, its population of 1.3 million people ranking it as the 7th most populous city in the United States, more manageable and relatively stress-free than Austin, who’s population of less than 900,000 rank it as the 11th most populous city in the United States?

First UMC Corpus Christi

First UMC Corpus Christi, courtesy of

When we got to Corpus, I loved it.  The last time I remembered being there I was a kid so this was really a nice treat for me.  The city was clean and the folks were nice.  Both the hotel and the church was on the beach and at points during the workshop, I looked out and saw a lot of youth just messing around having a good time.  This place was way much better than South Padre Island and all its commercialization.

We checked into our hotel early then found a place to eat for lunch.  Pier 99.  Oh my gosh.  The food was superb.  And the scenery was excellent.  We sat outside on the deck within sight of the USS Lexington.  It was a little cool but hey, I’ll take it.  Back home if the weather is nice enough to sit outside, the allergens have clouded the air making it difficult to breath.  But when the allergens are gone, it’s so dad gum hot and humid that it’s impossible to have an enjoyable meal outside.

Short history lesson on the USS Lexington ahead.

USS Lexington

USS Lexington, courtesy of

Commissioned in 1943 as an Essex Class naval carrier, the ship was originally named the USS Cabot.  During World War II, as final construction was being completed at the Massachusetts’ Fore River Shipyard, the US received word that the USS Lexington had been sunk in the Coral Sea, so the new carrier was renamed as the Lexington.

Stationed at Pearl Harbor, the carrier participated in nearly every major operation the Pacific Theater and spent a total of 21 months in combat.  The Japanese reported the Lexington sunk no less than four times yet each time, she returned to fight again, earning their nickname “The Blue Ghost.”

In 1962 she sailed into Pensacola, Florida and began training operations, eventually being officially designated as a Navy Training Carrier.  Today, she is permanently anchored at Corpus Christi.

History lesson over.

Before we left the restaurant, I purchased this t-shirt.  Everyone in my family says I walk too slow so I had no choice but to buy it.  Maybe now they’ll cut me some slack.

Life in the Fast Lane is Difficult For Turtles

Life in the Fast Lane is Difficult For Turtles

The conference was outstanding. The clinician was Mark Miller.  Mark is an Assistant Professor of Church Music at Drew Theological School and is a Lecturer in the Practice of Sacred Music at Yale University.  He passionately believes that music can change the world and his dream is that the music he composes, performs, teaches, and leads will inspire and empower people to create the beloved community.

This man is super amazingly talented and everything he did during the weekend made my heart sing.  Here’s the first verse of his song “Welcome”:

Mark A Miller

Mark A Miller

Let’s walk together for a while
And ask where we begin
To build a world where love can grow
And hope can enter in,
To be the hands of healing and to plant the seed of peace…

When I left to come home, my heart was happy.


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