By LINDA M. LINONIS
“ALL YOU NEED IS Love” along with your bell-bottoms and tie-dye T-shirt and you’ll be right on for a groovy event at Christ Episcopal Church.
A special service featuring music of The Beatles is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 18 in the church at 2627 Atlantic St. NE.
Doug Thomas, featured vocalist for The Bridge, the band that will play, said he sees The Beatles’ music as a comfortable fit into a religious service. “So much is about love and peace,” he said. “It’s spiritual on many levels.”
Those “Words Of Love” penned by John Lennon and Paul McCartney span the generations and make an enduring statement on life’s “Long and Winding Road.”
The Rev. Jeff Baker said the service is a way “to get out of the box and have fun.” He continued that the song-oriented service with music so many people know and love is another way “to experience God.” So come and don’t be a “Nowhere Man.”
He added that some people may feel intimidated by a formal service. This outreach service, Father Baker said, is “a way to come together” if you’re “Searchin.’” Maybe some will feel “Got To Get You Into My Life” refers to a higher power.
“The Episcopal Church is a welcoming committee for God, not a selection committee,” said Wayne Thomas, a vestry member involved in parish-life activities. “Acceptance, peace and love” are themes in the church and mirrored in Beatles’ songs, he said.
Father Baker said the service “has taken on a life of its own.” He chalked it up “to how the Holy Spirit works.”
The priest added that since so much of The Beatles’ music revolves around love and peace, it’s in harmony with a religious service. “It’s about love and God’s love for us. The church is a physical outpouring of that love,” he said.
Reaching out is what churches are supposed to do, he added. The service, he hopes, will be a “Ticket To Ride” by appealing to a broad range of people. The service might help people realize that God is “Here, There And Everywhere” and a way to “Help!” yourself to an uplifting time.
God’s flower children will “Come Together” at 5:30 p.m. and are encouraged to “Act Naturally” by getting decked out in their bell-bottoms, tie-dye T-shirts and fringed vests.
Once attendees are seated, a large video display screen will play a clip of The Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” from Feb. 9, 1964. Doug Thomas said he belonged to a youth group at Christ Episcopal who watched the show at the church. “I remember going into the restroom and combing my hair like The Beatles. I never looked back,” said the musician who has played music since the 1960s.
He said The Bridge will perform “Because” as the prelude and “All You Need is Love” for the processional.
“The Word,” Doug Thomas said, is “custom-made” to introduce the Gospel. Father Baker’s message, “Here Comes the Son,” will play off another song title. He will wear a special tie-dye shirt.
“Let It Be” will highlight the recessional and “The End” will conclude the service.
After the service, everyone will “Come Together” at a sing-a-long in the parish hall. They can join in “Any Time At All” at the open mic and play “Rock And Roll Music” on their guitars and tambourines.
Don’t be “The Fool On The Hill” and not join in the spirited fun.