The Old Man & the Omnichord

I heard Heaven in little country church somewhere in Southern York County, Pennsylvania, 25 years ago... 

I had sat through a church service as a guest.  I couldn't tell you what the sermon was about.  I forget the name of the church.  But I can describe, in detail, what happened at the very end.  

As the pastor wrapped up his final notes, an elderly gentleman walked up to the pulpit.  He was thin and lanky in his proud church suit and he was carrying an alien device.  It was the mythical Omnichord, an electronic autoharp from the 1980's.  

Whereas some people may entertain themselves on a home console organ, this gentleman learned his hymns on his Omnichord.  And he was here to present a hymn processional at the end of the service. 

I was paralyzed in awe.  My ears transfixed on this man strumming Casio sounding chords and singing proudly.  It was his offering to God in his unique style

That's what was so awesome about it.  It was completely unique.  It was real.  It was pure and could only be heard at that one little church.  Whoa...

I wanted to hear more. I wanted to sit at his feet.  Unfortunately, the people I was with were in a hurry to leave.  I still regret following them out of the church.

The old man was true Americana.  It was folk music.  It was the originality I craved with my own music.  

Why isn't the DIY music community leading worship services in churches?  (I'm implicating myself in this statement, too.)  We spend days creating new sounds, new layers and uniquely personal music that is truly our own.  Is this not "sing unto Him a new song?" 

Churches spend so much time on advertising, evangelizing and outreach.  What if the worship service was so unbelievable good that it would pull people in, even out of curiosity?   

Just thinkin' to myself on a Wednesday morning. 
I love you guys. 
Shane

Post your own DIY music ideas for church in the comments below!

2 comments

  • Walter Haapapuro

    Walter Haapapuro

    Shane, It has always been my desire to play CBG in my churches praise team. My church is small and the praise team would welcome me with open arms; so, the problem is that I haven't put the time in to being able to play... Anyhow, with some time I can/will pull it off. One of my other goals is to play Petra songs, maybe you remember them. I was sorely disappointed when they 'retired'. Walt

    Shane,
    It has always been my desire to play CBG in my churches praise team. My church is small and the praise team would welcome me with open arms; so, the problem is that I haven't put the time in to being able to play... Anyhow, with some time I can/will pull it off. One of my other goals is to play Petra songs, maybe you remember them. I was sorely disappointed when they 'retired'.
    Walt

  • Debbie Payne

    Debbie Payne

    What a wonderful comment about the old man and his Omnichord! Yes, I think we should all sing Him a new song, thanks for the inspiration Shane! Regards Debbie Australind West Australia

    What a wonderful comment about the old man and his Omnichord!
    Yes, I think we should all sing Him a new song, thanks for the inspiration Shane!
    Regards Debbie
    Australind West Australia

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