By Charlene M. Jett
In the beginning, the Lord led Dale and Susan Worthington to have seven talented children, ages 6-17, who share His grace and love by playing music at His beck and call. Their large van and covered trailer contains instruments, speakers, microphones, stands and, I bet, a mile of electrical cords.
They tour Southern Illinois as “The Worthing10s Family Bluegrass Band,” with their music in their minds and hearts. They have a presence on Facebook and YouTube, and you can check out their calendar or email them. Their CD’s are a combination of gospel, hymns and bluegrass music. They know it all by heart.
Evergreen was in their gratitude on Monday for their generous out pouring of their talents and hearts.
So let me set the stage – blue jeans and denim skirts, blue checked shirts, a big cowboy hat and cowboy boots galore. Girls with curled and pinned up hair, and young men with big broad smiles, cued us in for a good time to come.
They were young, vibrant and a perfect example of living abundantly though the Lord. The energy of “Are You Washed in the Blood,” “All Prayed Up” and “Angels Carry Me Home” made the entire Wesley Hall (which was totally full by the way) feel like a balloon pumped up with God’s love. Just exploding with joy!
The contrast of the very deep bass voice singing ”It won’t be Long” with the young girls voice singing “Somebody Touched Me” is very enjoyable. The emotional content of the deep bass voice in “Long Black Train (Victory in Jesus)” was powerful and moving! They switched to a patriotic song, “This Land is your Land,” in honor of our country, which is known as “The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”
So, now get ready to smile – just remember the little 6-year-old singing “Lay My Burdens Down,” with a most adorable yodel! I thought she had just stepped off a Swiss mountain! She could not be bested.
Some of the finest, most gentle guitar picking ever heard was when they sang “Family Bible.” It told a heart-warming story, with unlimited energy and precision.
Now, the big cowboy hat came into play and laid out a distinctive version of Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light.” He drew the audience in closer as they all sang “Kings Harbor Shore,” which is about the storms of life, and when you hit your limit and can’t make it alone, you must get on this rescue ship.
An awe-inspiring “Hallelujah, I’m Ready to Go” was a demonstration of some of the best banjo picking in the state. However, “Eliza Jane” brought it all home with a full court press: twp mandolins (large and small), two fiddles, a banjo and big guitar. The smallest 6-year-old fiddle player had to sit this one out on stage and rest – too much yodeling I expect. Absolutely amazing instrumentality!
A classic hymn,“Lily of the Valley (Bright Morning Star)” was sung by the oldest son in the family, who seems destined for a career in entertainment and music.
His littlest sister, however, will have to wait a while, since the microphone doesn’t go low enough for her. When she broke out with “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” complete with more yodeling, every face had a smile!
The ceiling stayed intact, but just barely, when we all sang” Amazing Grace!” I’m sorry you missed it – it will keep me warm this winter!
Their final number was “Life is Like a Mountain Railway,” which is on their latest CD. This is about our life as God keeps his hand on the throttle till we reach the crystal shore and the angels join us. The depth and soul put into this number was mesmerizing, powerful and full of meaning.
How the pinochle players can focus on cards at time like this is amazing. However, I know Rosamund Hobler and Susan Meador well enough to realize they wouldn’t pass up a chance to trounce Mary Woolsey and Shirley Locke two games to zip! Edith Elliott and Ruth Ann Scott were somewhere in there, but I couldn’t keep up. Richard Kruenegel must have gotten a better offer – but I really don’t know how!
Congratulations are in order for a very, very successful Evergreen Outreach meeting. Especially to Phyllis Rames, Ruth Ann Scott, Jeanie Schlicht, Marie Sutton and all volunteers. We missed Mary Crawford and Beulah Brown, and hope they will come back soon. Next week’s EO has been canceled, and “The Vargas” will play in two weeks.
God bless everyone and keep us all safe!