6400 W Del Rio St, Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 899-4249

Voices Lifted Singers

Love is our Doctrine. Service is our prayer. Justice is our calling.

Voices Lifted started in 2008 under the direction of the congregation’s former Music Minister, Kellie Hart. She wanted to form a group of women’s voices that could serve in the wider community. 

Voices Lifted sings in a variety of settings including assisted living centers, private homes, and at hospice bedside. The group provides a variety of music to help heal, uplift, and ease the transition between life and death for individuals and families. The group sings without instrumental accompaniment and in small groups only. 

When possible, and depending on the setting, we find out what type of music the individual or group enjoys, favorite songs or hymns, and what will provide the most peace and solace. When singing for a friend recovering from knee surgery, the group sang “Happy Wanderer.” When singing for a congregant whose wife recently had died, we sang familiar hymns. When singing at hospice bedside, often the group focuses on music written specifically for transition. It is melodic and quiet, with simple harmonies and a message of peace and love. This music can provide permission for the person to make that transition and doesn’t hold them in the present. One song that the group almost always sings at bedside or for a group is “Edelweiss.” It never fails to bring healing tears to the singers and the listeners, and is always appreciated. There are always nods and smiles when we start singing that song.

Below, singers in the group share their most memorable moments and why this ministry is important to them.

“For me, my most memorable time was when two of us sang at bedside for a longtime congregant who was no longer conscious, but agitated. Her husband was there and we sang to them both for almost an hour. Tears and smiles for those of us aware, and a slowing and less labored breathing for the patient. We were told later that she passed away within a few minutes of our leaving. You usually feel so helpless in the face of impending death. But in this case, it felt like we made a positive difference. That’s what I’m always hoping for. No one should die alone and scared. I simply want to be a peaceful presence.”

“My most memorable time was singing to a young father who was in hospice and his family, including his children, who wanted to sing with us. We sang several songs outside on the patio including one Beatle’s song.  It was beautiful, poignant, and the memory of that moment in time is very dear to me. My mother was in assisted living with Parkinson’s and related dementia.  We had many difficult experiences during her last years.  I vowed then to find a singing group to sing to those struggling in their final years.”

“I will never forget singing at a big group home in Mesa. In the group was a woman in a wheelchair who was so slumped over that her head was in her lap.  It was December and we were singing carols and, with each carol, she sat up more and more until she was upright and singing every single word.  I was astonished at the transformation, but even more astonished when one of the nurses came over at the end to say that she hadn’t spoken a word for six months.”

“My most meaningful experience was when we sang for a young man who, we were told by staff, was refusing to eat. This was around Thanksgiving. We came back at Christmastime, and he was preparing to go home to spend Christmas with his family. The nurses told us that, after we sang the last time, he’d asked for food and said that we’d given him hope. I’m sure he didn’t have much more time, but at least he got one more Christmas with his family.”