The week before July 4th, six travelers from St. Andrew’s Academy set out for the southern regions of our state to sing for a church synod located in Oceanside. Two graduates, two students, and two faculty members departed Saturday, June 27th, from Lake Almanor and drove to Fresno, through scorching 105˚ weather.
The first night, they stayed in the parish hall of St. James’ Cathedral, the Cathedral of Bishop John David Schofield in the Diocese of San Joaquin, now part of the Anglican Church of North America. The following morning, they arose bright and early to sing 8 o’clock and 10:30 services for this parish. What an encouragement when one church member emailed later to say, “Thanks again for being with us last Sunday. The service was to weep for!”
Sunday evening found them near Santa Clarita, and the next morning in Manhattan Beach, where they picked up two St. Andrew’s boarding students (home for summer vacation) to add their voices to the choir. Then, after lunch at In ‘n’ Out, the group made its way to Oceanside and Synod, at the Prince of Peace Abbey.
Once at Synod, the choir members not only attended a few speeches and meetings, but led two evensongs and sang for one Holy Communion service. In addition, Father Foos was asked to address the synod on the theme, “Inspiring Our Youth,” and showed a brief DVD about St. Andrew’s Academy. He and both graduates received questions afterward.
Wednesday the group got a chance to relax by the ocean, eat ice cream, and walk the long pier at Oceanside. Then it was back to San Marcos, where they had been staying the past two nights, about thirty minutes from Oceanside. The Anglican Church of the Resurrection welcomed the choir to eat with them at their monthly fellowship dinner, and joined them for evensong.
Thursday, after bidding farewell in Manhattan Beach to the two boarders, the rest of the choir continued north toward Stockton, this time on the scenic—and much cooler!—coastal highway. In Stockton, St. John’s Episcopal Church joined the choir for evensong, joining in the four-part harmony of the choristers. Afterward there was a delicious Cajun gumbo (made by the rector himself!), and visiting with members of the parish.
Friday afternoon, the six tired but cheerful St. Andrew’s choristers returned to beautiful Lake Almanor with stories and memories from another successful trip.
This article was published in the November 2009 edition of The Standard.