By Tom Ehrich

We rehearse for 90 minutes every week, learning Gospel songs like “He Will Supply” and “Changed,” learning how to sway and clap, drawing close to one another.

Some weeks, rehearsal feels like one thing too many. But then it all comes together, as will happen this Saturday when we host our second annual Gospel Festival.

A year ago, we were a small but earnest ensemble. A year later, we have 24 singers, a sturdy repertoire, and growing confidence.

Best of all, we have become friends and spiritual colleagues. We have reached across cultural and ethnic lines and found the common ground of faith-filled singing.

We are school teacher, pediatrician, unemployed office worker, graduate student, nurse, retail worker, and writer. We are gay and straight, partnered and single, parents and not-parents, making it and not quite making it. We come from Pentecostal, Protestant and Catholic backgrounds. Three have solo-quality voices. We’re all happy just to be singing.

We are what God sees. Not righteous categories and loathsome categories, but sopranos, altos, tenors and basses, standing shoulder to shoulder, swaying to the beat, singing as one voice with four parts.

Come hear three superb Gospel choirs on Saturday April 28, at 7:00pm, Park Avenue Christian Church, at 85th and Park Avenue in New York City.