We Are One in the Spirit

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Dear Reader:

I have to confess that sometimes I just don’t want to sing certain hymns in church…maybe they’re new with a difficult melody, or slow and drawn out or have 6 or more stanzas. I am afraid my “inner grunt” might surface when I turn to the hymn page….secretly praying the pastor will say that we will only sing lines 1, 3, and 5. (put us our of our misery sooner)

Now give me those “old time religion” hymns and I will bellow them out ( can’t carry a tune in a bucket) with the best of ’em. I love spirituals, haunting/poignant melodies, or peppy feel-good songs with a good beat.

Then yesterday I read a fascinating (at least I found it so…hope you do too) article on the real importance of singing together. My whole perspective has changed on this age old ritual.

Source: All I Really Want: Quinn G. Caldwell

 “There are something like 5,400 animal species that make complex, intentional, repeatable, musical vocalizations. Which is to say that there are about 5,400 animal species that sing. The majority live in the trees, a few live in the oceans, a very few live underground, but there is one – only one- singing species that lives on the ground. You guessed it: us.

Humans are also the only singing species with a precise and shared sense of rhythm, which is what allows us to sing together. Two birds might sing the same song, but they can’t coordinate it. They can sing next to each other but not together. 

Another thing:If a roomful of people sing at the same time, they start to breathe at the same time as well. And not only that, but studies have also shown that when people sing together, their hearts start beating together too. And if we’re singing together and breathing together and our hearts are beating together, then it’s like we are one body…one spirit.

And what is even nicer, in a church setting, is that we can make a bigger claim that we actually become the body of the One to whom we are singing. 

Other animals stop singing when danger approaches…but humans sing louder the closer the danger gets. We sing together and become large and we become a Body that does not back down.  So come all ye faithful and sing! We are One in the Spirit!”


So…no more complaining from me…in fact…give me a hymn right now with six stanzas and I will sing loudly, off-key, and be one in the spirit…breathing together with synchronized hearts.

We Are One in the Spirit – YouTube

So until tomorrow let us all sing our praises to God…for His special gift of song to us.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

FullSizeRender* Honey is hard at work…this piece is called Tigg’s Pond.…a demo at a show. So pretty…it looks like a large lily pond floating on the water.


Kaitlyn made this birthday video for Rutledge! So sweet!

created using Flipagram app | Download for Free!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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