March 28, 2019 | Articles by Ben Williams
My family joined Christ Church in 1988, the year I was born. I was baptized in the Catholic church, and have also received the Catholic sacraments of Holy Communion and Reconciliation. As I grew up in a family of multiple faiths, my parents helped me to love what makes different faiths unique, and to celebrate all that they have in common. Throughout my childhood and into my days as a young adult, it was understood that on Saturday evenings we would attend mass at the Church of Epiphany, and on Sunday mornings we were at Christ Church.
More time in church led to more questions in my mind and in my heart, and I had all the opportunity to have them answered by a variety of activities. I began my path towards music ministry when I sang in the Cherub Choir at age 3; from that point on, I have always been in a choir. PSALM Kids helped me to love making music and performing musicals with my friends, and using those gifts to bring joy to people and create a place in their heart where God can enter. When I was in the Middle School and High School Choir, my view on music widened to using it for mission, for spreading the love of Jesus Christ in my community, and in trips taken outside my own community.
I’ve been ringing handbells just about as long as I have been singing in the choirs at Christ Church. People love hearing a choir sing, but the unique sound and musical style of a handbell choir is particularly appealing to people. Visually, the handbells are very interesting to see, and aurally, they excite a primitive fascination. The metallic resonation is both ethereal and natural at the same time, and the variety of techniques that one can perform on the handbells has grasped me from my early years even to today, as I ring in the Carillon Ringers and direct the youth ensembles. When I was in middle school and high school, handbell rehearsals were an activity that I really enjoyed, and it’s very special for me that I now get to direct today’s young people, in hopes that they love it as much as I do.
Christ Church is different in a lot of ways today than it was 30 years ago. But in a lot of ways (to me, the important ways) it has stayed steadfast to the Christian values that I hold dear. As a full-time teacher and a part time church musician, I commit to inclusiveness, kindness, erring on the side of grace, and preparing a place for the Holy Spirit to enter and do awesome things. I want the Holy Spirit to enter my heart, my home, the hearts of the youth, the hearts of the congregation and the hearts of everyone in our city and country and world.
Many people I grew up with in the youth program here at Christ Church have literally gone all over the world, perhaps not exclusively talking about God’s love, but I know they have shown it and shared it.
The world is different in a lot of ways today than it was 30 years ago, and more than any other time I have known, I believe Christians need to show others that in God’s eyes we are all equal.
There is room for all at the table. We are all fallen and broken people. We all can learn from each other. We are all one body.