On Sunday, January 15, St. Martin’s honored retiring choir director and organist Christi Hardy with a reception, and the choir sang a song of tribute. The choral tribute was to the tune of “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus,” a hymn we sang in worship on Sunday.  LC Crowley wrote these fitting lyrics:
Chris-ti’s de-cid-ed__ to move to Phil-ly,__
She’s gon-na live with__ her daugh-ter Jes-sie.__
She’s leav-ing Tex-as,­­__ she’s leav-ing us all.__
A-las, a-lack, (a-las, a-lack), we want her back.__
We did as she asked__ we all sang “cho-ral”.__
We moved our “S”-es__ un-stressed our “R’s” too.__
We did not breathe [gasp]__ where she said not to.__
But still she packed; (but still she packed), we want her back.__
She wants to be with__ Max, Miles and Mad-die.__
She thinks that they are__ the world’s best grand-kids.__
She loves them more than__ she loves her Ran-gers!__
And that’s a fact, (and that’s a fact), a-las, a-lack.__
Tex-as be-hind her,__ fam-‘ly be-fore her._
And God to guide her__ up-on her jour-ney.__
She’s on a mis-sion,__ to help those grand-kids.__
No turn-ing back, (no turn-ing back), no turn-ing back.__
Members of our church, choir members, former choir members, friends and family shared personal stories and expressed gratitude for Christi’s life and ministry with us. She has worked to help us faithfully raise our voices and our hearts to God in song since 2008. Her broad and deep experience of over 35 years in church music ministry, as a high school choir director for 20 years, as an elementary school teacher, and as a piano teacher has helped her invite and welcome so many people to share their gifts with our church! She has inspired and equipped our choir and individual vocalists and musicians of all ages to offer their gifts to move us all in worship. Her professionalism and leadership and faithfulness and her amazing abilities as a musician are all deeply appreciated, and we will sorely miss her.
As Christi leaves us, she is enveloped in our love, and we know she will continue to serve God and to inspire others around her. Christi’s last Sunday with us is January 22.
Swipe through below or click over to the photo album on Flickr: