Multiple Ministries Available, Come Join Us

    Merry Christmas!!!  Yes, it’s been on my mind for a while.  The Sanctuary Choir just had a wonderful weekend Christmas retreat at Mahr Park complete with decorations, music, and food!  We’ve welcomed four new choir members of late: Marianne Forman, Neal Rosner, Donna Vaughan, and Jo Lynn Vincent.   There is still plenty of time between now and Advent if you want to get in on the fun and enjoyment.  No tryouts or auditions, just come.

Other music ministries have resumed regular rehearsals as well.  Children’s Choirs (preschool and elementary), Orchestra, and Handbells.  You may have noticed three timpani or “kettle drums” in the narthex near the restrooms last Sunday.  We have acquired these on “permanent loan” from a friend in the community and are in the process of securing a few small parts from H&H Music in Evansville to make these instruments a part of our Orchestra.  You’ll hear them soon!  Hopefully for the Orchestra’s season debut October 1.

As you have seen for several weeks on the slide show loop, the West Area All Disciples Sing is Sunday, October 22, 4pm, at First Christian Church, Hopkinsville.  Our Sanctuary Choir, Orchestra, and older Children’s Choir will be participating.  Even if you are not a part of these ensembles, come as a congregant to enjoy and worship through some beautiful musical expression.

Our music ministry continues to grow as God blesses us with those who want to offer their time and talents.  This and other ministry groups like Sunday School, Circles, Sunday Night Young Disciples and Youth, Scouts, and Weekday Bible studies can be excellent avenues to bring new people into our church community.  If there is someone out there you know who needs to be connected with us, simply invite them, then let us, your ministry staff, know how we can help encourage them.  We are glad to help.     Gratefully, Bill


Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me

    One of my morning devotions last week reminded me of irritants in worship I have experienced over the years.  As a minister, sometimes it is a challenge to focus on worshipping God with the distractions of worship details like audio-visual problems, people placement, order, candle wicks, instruments being in or out of tune, speakers not hurrying to the microphone, children making noise…  Wait, children making noise?

In the above-mentioned devotion, a young mother elaborated upon the hassles of bringing a toddler to worship and that she (the mother) couldn’t get anything “out” of worship.  On the car-ride home she realized that maybe she needed to think more about what she was “bringing” to worship rather than what she could or could not “get out” of it, “The next generation to love our wonderful God.”

As my mind looks back over a typical Sunday morning worship gathering at First Christian, I see young children flowing to the front for children’s moments.  I see and hear small babies.  I see and hear children singing in choirs.  I see children leaving for Worship and Wonder, I see older children serving as acolytes representing the most important element of the experience, God’s presence with us as we gather.

May we all reset our lenses to ponder what we bring to worship rather than what we “get out” of it.  Are we bringing our children?  Are we bringing hearts and minds prepared to hear God?  Would we know it if God spoke to us?  He has promised He will if we listen, submit, and come to Him like children.

Keep the children coming!           Bill


Farewell to Larry and Marilyn

      This week marks the end of Larry and Marilyn’s interim time with us.  This is both a little sad and exciting as we come to this transition point.  I want you, the church, to know how much I have appreciated both of them not only for the so-called “duties” of the job, but for those extras that often do not come with interim staff.

Marilyn made herself right at home in our choir, contributing faithfully unless ill or out of town.  She felt free to express to us how much she has enjoyed making some wonderful music with us.  We will be singing one of her favorite anthems this Sunday, “It Is Well With My Soul” words by Horatio Spafford, tune by Philip Bliss, and arranged by Leanne Langley.  She has also shared her gifts with the book fair and other activities around our church.

Larry is one of the best at learning who people are.  He works to remember details and relationships.  He sees the importance of just being with people in times of crisis and sadness.  He has shown up numerous times in our rehearsals to say “Thanks!” to all the volunteers who make up our music ministry.  His ministry of “presence” to almost all of our ministries has surely been effective.  And, I must say, on those Sunday mornings when I am itching to get the service started, “Where’s Larry?” is the question.  99 times out of 100, you could find him getting in one or two more handshakes and friendly greetings to the congregation at large, trying not to miss anyone, especially visitors.

Having experienced being an interim staff member for 2 years, 3 months recently, I can attest to the challenges of such service.  You become attached to people, you become attached to the church and some of its traditions, and you create memories (hopefully good ones) of the place, new friends, and those with whom you have served.

I hope you will join us this Sunday for our extended hospitality time (8:30 AM) as a way to thank Marilyn and Larry for being a part of us not just for the time they were here, but for the positive way they have added beautiful color to the fabric of our journey together for the future.  I close by quoting the final stanza of my favorite hymn, “Soldiers of Christ, In Truth Arrayed” sung at every graduation commencement at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:  “We meet to part, but part to meet when earthly labors are complete, to join in yet more blest employ, In an eternal world of joy.” – Basil Manly Jr. 1825-1892.                 Bill


Organ Update

Greetings all, I’ve asked Alice to give us an update on the recent organ work…

Here is an update on our Reuter pipe organ repair.  Technicians from the Reuter Organ Co, Lawrence, Kansas, repaired the water damaged swell division by removing the pneumatic swell motor, installing a new electric swell motor, and repairing the failed bushings.  They repacked tuning caps and re-voiced the Great and Swell Mixture to adjust the speech regulation of the remaining stops, including the reed voices.  The chimes were adjusted, and the organ tuned to A-440 Hz at 70 degrees F. They have recommended for long range planning, that upgrading the solid-state combination action in the console and the solid-state switching system located in the blower room be considered.  These systems are dated and are no longer manufactured.

This repair work could not have been accomplished without the generosity of Heath Duncan and Habitat for Humanity in the use of donated scaffolding.  Thank you.    Alice Chaney, organist.    (Bill)



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