I moved with my family from Kelowna, British Columbia to McMinnville, Oregon a month before the infamous events of 9/11. I’m not generally known for great timing! The move was for the purpose of assuming my role as Minister of Worship and Music at First Baptist Church. My short, 3 year tenure there was challenging and exciting and growing for me. A congregant, Densley Palmer, was a wonderful hymn text writer and poet. The following is a commissioning prayer he composed for the occasion of my coming to FBC.
Densley and Joyce Palmer ©October, 2001
For the commissioning of Robert Rife as Minister of Worship and Music
First Baptist Church, McMinnville, Oregon, October 14, 2001
Let all earth dance and sing in the presence of the eternal God.
Let us blend distinct voice and individual song in praise and thanksgiving
to God who makes all things one.
Let us worship God with our voices,
on the organ, and on the pipe and drum.
Be still, and await God’s voice in the pregnant moments of silence.
Calm the erratic cadence of daily life and move to the rhythm of the eternal.
Through worship, glimpse God’s infinite breadth, eternal length,
and encounter the intimate presence of the holy.
Wherever we worship God, let it be with a sense of awe and expectation,
a spirit of joy, and an awareness that,
through worship, we encounter the sacred
and stand barefoot on holy ground.
Let all earth dance and sing in the presence of the living God.