Sunday, June 12, will provide opportunities to celebrate our Choir during and after the 10a.m. service: The Choir chose to offer special anthems and to host the Coffee Hour! This has been another year of significant commitment and contributions by the Choir that enrich our worship life. At their Wednesday evening rehearsals, Music Director Mark Sullivan coaches the Choir through a series of exercises to help each member develop their gift for choral singing; and only then do they begin rehearsing anthems for coming Sundays. On Sunday mornings, the Choir arrives early to warm-up, review their anthem, and the hymns and service music for the day. This is a major commitment, and our Choir members are very faithful. The rest of us, the congregation, benefit from their labor of love.
Because they are such a gregarious group, the Choir will host the Coffee Hour this Sunday. Please enjoy the refreshments they provide and join me in thanking them for their inspired musical leadership. On page 819, The Prayer Book includes a wonderful prayer, "For Church Musicians and Artists:"
O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven; Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Recalling last Sunday's wonderful offerings by our Youth String Ensemble, I'm repeating the prayer for them! Indeed, thanks to all who made last Sunday such a delight: Baptizing little Marc Anthony was a joy; we thanked our Sunday School teachers and mentors for their persevering commitment to our children; greeted our five newly confirmed and one newly received members; and we didn't let the rain clouds keep us from enjoying a terrific Parish Picnic indoors! Special thanks to the master of the grill,David Jones and his helpmate, Kathleen Jones; they kept the hamburgers and hot dogs coming! Thanks to everyone else, we enjoyed delicious side dishes, salads and desserts.
During the Parish Picnic, our ECW presented their "Pearl of Great Price" Awards to Gene Bishop and Jeanette Konczfor giving so generously of themselves for the ministries of Christ Church. The ECW also presented me with a framed photo of a brick at Guilford's new Dog Park inscribed in love and memory of my dog, Boone. I was speachless! Know that I'm very grateful for this gracious and generous remembrance.
On Sundays June 12 and 19, please welcome the Rev.Jane Stickney as our preacher and celebrant. Many will remember Jane+ from her service at St. John's Church, in north Guilford. Jane+ went on to coordinate the Annand Center for Spiritual Formation at Berkeley Divinity School within Yale. Her presence at Christ Church offers you an opportunity to benefit from a spiritual friend to generations of clergy. In addition, Jane+ creates her own vestments; those interested in fabric arts will have that to discuss with her as well.
This letter comes to you from Sewanee: The University of the South, in Tennessee, where I am up to my eyeballs in assignments for the School of Theology's Advanced Degree Program. Since classes meet four hours a day and require another eight for preparation, you will understand why I am off the radar!
However, one task has continued: we are just signatures away from being able to introduce our new Sunday School Director!
Returning to music in worship: Please take advantage of Music Director Mark Sullivan's two sign-up sheets: one for those willing to share a song or instrumental gift sometime this summer; and the other to suggest a favorite hymn.
In faith and hope,
p.s. The May/June issue of GTO: Glad Tidings Online is now available by clicking here. It includes details about parish leadership in June and July while I am on study-leave and vacation. Also, Vestry Highlights, lots of news from our Episcopal Church Women, and a buildings and grounds up-date from the Junior Warden. There's also a link to the renderings for the improvements to the Parish Hall proposed by the Evening ECW.
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