When Mother Erika suggested this assignment, it sounded both interesting and challenging. Interesting to talk to different people, including ones I didn’t know well. Challenging to try to give a sense of who they are. Perhaps the most challenging aspect was conveying in my words just how interesting the conversation turned out to be. I didn’t have an extensive list of questions. I figured they would come to mind. I did however have 2 basic questions in mind. One was suggested by one of my past French teachers. At a social gathering the French would not ask: “What is your occupation?” That was considered trying to categorize people. Rather, they would ask: What is your passion? So that was one of the questions. The other one was something that always intrigues me. Could you give me your philosophy of life in 25 words or less? And they did. - Helen Lambin
If there is a keynote to starting to get to know Anna VanDeKerchove it would be the notes on a musical staff. Music is her passion and her profession. She has, she said, been singing her whole life, since she was a child. And then she majored in vocal music at Valparaiso and in graduate studies at North Park. While she has another full-time job with a non-profit, she has an extended part time career in music. She considers herself very lucky, she said, getting to do what she loves. You’ve likely heard her. Anna is a member of the Schola Choir at Atonement, a mezzosoprano.
An obvious question was what kind of music do you like? Her likes harmonize with different times. She likes classical music and contemporary classical. She also likes musical theater, including Waitress, and Meet Me in St. Louis, which happens to be one of my favorites and takes me back….
Anne is at present working from home. She enjoys the comfort of working from home: flexibility; working without distractions. But it has its disadvantages as well. She misses having co-workers around. And her heart goes out to those who are having a particularly hard time now: those who have lost their employment, those who are ill, and those who care for them. Her mother is an ER physician. And as Anna said, in addition to the Covid-19 illness, there are other illnesses; heart attacks, for example, don’t stop. But she hopes we can all learn from this.
Anna was attending Covenant Classes at Atonement and thoroughly enjoyed the teaching from Mother Erika, Luis Garcia, and Meghan Murphy-Gill, an age contemporary. She hopes to be received into the Episcopal church—now on hold.
Her philosophy of life? “Life’s meaning is the meaning that you endow in it. But this isn’t a transcendental ideal that you need to find.”