Monique Potter, 22. Sings alto in the church choir. Gymnastics coach at
Gold Star gymnastics in San Jose.
When I'm up there, Im
just singing for God. I try to take self out of it, and just sing all
praises for Him. Im not up there for show. Im out there trying
to witness to somebody else how good Hes been to me: you know depending
on what the message is for the song.
The hardest part is like now, in rehearsal, when were trying to
learn a new song, and people dont focus, including myself sometimes.
We get a little playful up there, and joke around and stuff, which makes
it harder for the director, which makes it hard on us, because then if
were supposed to be singing a song for a certain occasion, we dont
learn it when were supposed to. That--and then sometimes having
to sing a lead. A little nervous. In rehearsal its not a problem,
because I know all those people. But you know on Sunday morning its
everybody else, and other people that may visit or whatever. I get really
nervous, and I shouldnt.
Sometimes people bring songs they want the choir to sing. Sometimes it
may be something they actually want to lead, or the director hears it
and she knows exactly who she wants to sing it, because she can pick up
the voice. Or someone she wants to loosen up and bring them out to not
be as shy. Because a lot of people are like: "No, no! I dont
want to do it!" And shes like: "No, I want you to do it."
Then eventually theyll get up there and theyll loosen up,
so theyre not as nervous or as shy as they were, even in rehearsal.
We are very spirited. Whenever theyre announcing our pastor, were
whooping and hollering and giving him the utmost respect. We like to have
fun while were up there. We like to always do something different.
You know our choir director always changes things up all the time. The
most fun part is when she changes our rocks or our claps, or starts adding
on different things we hadnt gone over in rehearsal, and everybodys
on one accord and they pick up on the new change.
I make sure I set aside my fifteen minutes a day. Well, of course when
I get up in the morning, I always pray. Before I go to bed I pray. But
I always set out some personal time for God, whether its working
on my Sunday school lesson or something that was reviewed in Bible study.
Since I work late, I dont get to come. My moms the church
secretary, and she usually sends me everything.
I try and come down on the weekend on Saturday night, so I dont
have to drive that far. But if I am at home in San Jose, I'm probably
rushing. You know: Hurry up, get up, make sure I pray first or whatever.
If I didnt set out my clothes for Sunday, then Im really rushing,
especially if I have to usher, because then Im like: "Wheres
my uniform?" Sometimes if Im not on time, I do miss Sunday
school, or Ill get here in the middle of it. We have our own devotion,
and then we go upstairs for devotion with the whole church and we stand
in the aisles. Its kind of like our praise team.
After the deacons pray and do their scripture, the praise team sings to
get the congregation uplifted, because sometimes we have a lot of visitors,
or you get people who look like theyre sleeping or theyre
bored. You want to get them in the spirit of things. Then we always have
fellowship--welcome people you don't usually see there. We have something
called FRANdalism. On first Sunday you bring your friends, on second Sundays
you bring your relatives, third Sundays you bring your associates, fourth
Sunday you bring your neighbors. You know, to get everybody witnessing
out to other people.
A lot of the members here I grew up with. Everybody knows my personality,
so they know when somethings bothering me. Everyone always goes:
"I know somethings not right with you. Come talk to me."
Because you cant always go to Mom. Sometimes you need someone else
to talk to. So theres always somebody to talk to that helps me out.