While living in the United States since 1997, I have encountered various cultural differences between South Korea and the U.S.A.  Sometimes it's amazing to find that opposite expressions are used for the same situations.

For example, when Koreans leave work before their co-workers they tell them "work hard."  What do we say here in this case?  We will say "don't work too hard."  I don't think that these different sayings will make people work any differently.  It has been a "custom" in greetings in different cultures; just saying "good bye" in a different way.

When we interpret the language literally, there may be communication problems.  Sometimes we need to understand people beyond the spoken language.  That's one of the reasons I love my vocation.  Music is less dangerous and easily understood by heart and emotion than words to me.  The famous 20th century German composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) said "People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least while the music lasts."  Music can be so helpful and a strong tool to make friends or heal broken relationships with people. 

Our church music groups enjoyed the public concert for Animal Lovers with many from our church and community.  We shared the same music and pursued the same goal, helping animals in need.  Many people also enjoyed the memory of their pets in the past and in the present.  During the time, there's no miscommunication or uncomfortable feeling.  We could be in one body and one spirit.  This is the power of the music, and God wants us to be like that under His name.

As your director of music serving you under God's guidance, I hope we will keep having this kind of time, sharing our joys and sorrows and praising God in unison voice. It will happen during every Sunday service, public concert, musical rehearsal and anywhere at Westminster day after day.  I always appreciate your advice and suggestions for our church music program.