Let all rejoice who have a voice to raise!
And may God give us faith to sing always
(“When in Our Music God Is Glorified” – #68, United Methodist Hymnal)
Greetings, all! This week’s memo is a reminder for you to make sure you’re in church this Sunday as we celebrate music in worship on “Music Sunday”. Pastor Dan is on vacation thru Monday, so this week’s memo is from me, Don Prestly, your Dir. of Worship & Music. I hope the last stanza of the hymn, “When in Our Music God is Glorified”, not only piques your interest about Sunday’s service, but also makes you think about how much music is an important and inspirational part of the worship experience. The past few Sundays I had asked for your favorite hymn or worship song so that I could do my best to fit it into this Sunday’s service. It was fun to see so many “favorites” and also interesting to see the variety in “favorites”. There was everything from what I think of as the “good old Sunday night service hymns” (oh, how they harkened me back to my growing up in the Baptist church and Sunday evening services!) to the wonderful songs that we have in “The Faith We Sing” (FWS) songbooks. Both the UM Hymnal and FWS are used most Sundays, as I work to select music to make our services engaging and meaningful.
The theme of this Sunday’s service is titled “How Shall We Worship and What Shall We Sing”. An interesting topic, but one that might seem a bit off-putting to some. We’ll be exploring the question of why we worship the way we do (the “how”) and how I go about choosing the service music for Sunday (the “what”). I’ll also be sharing a story about a Worship Committee’s discussion (not ours J!) about how their worship service should be crafted and the ways in which people feel is “the right way to worship”.
Another thing I’ll be sharing is one which has become a point of discussion lately – “When does the service really start?” For some, worship begins when the clock hits whatever time the bulletin has printed. For EPUMC, that’s 10:00 a.m. For others, the worship experience begins when you enter the Sanctuary and take your seat. For those people, it’s a time to leave conversations in the Narthex and quiet themselves as they listen to the Gathering Music.
And speaking of Gathering Music, you’ll want to get here a bit earlier this Sunday to be part of the Gathering Music time. We will be singing several of your suggested favorites as our Gathering Music this Sunday. We’ll start around 9:50, so leave a few minutes earlier than usual so you can be part of the fun! The Summer Choir will also be singing and helping lead our music. If you would like be a part of the Summer Choir, we’ll be warming up and rehearsing on Sunday starting at 9:00 a.m. in Room 7.
I hope to see (and hear!) you Sunday as we raise our voices in praise to God!
Don Prestly – Dir. of Worship and Music