If you are new to this blog....
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
One exciting thing that has just happened this last week is that we have had the privilege to share of our musical bounty with another congregation in the presbytery. The organist/music director at Hickory Grove Presbyterian Church is leaving, and I offered my friend, Rev. Kate Murphy, that we might be able to loan them some musicians for the month of November while they searched for a new musician or interim musician. I am thrilled to share that Linda Jenkins agreed to volunteer as their organist and choir director for the month, and Chuck is also going to sing bass in the choir. I marvel at the riches God has drawn to Good Shepherd in arts and music and am excited that we can share those riches with others outside our walls. I look forward to hearing from the Jenkins and Pastor Kate how God blesses them and the congregation at Hickory Grove.
So, when you don't see Chuck and Linda in church during November, know that they are on ministry assignment serving the larger Kingdom of God!
What is God doing in and around you and how can YOU be a part?
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Next weekend, our choir will join with that of Carmel Presbyterian for a jazz concert. But we are taking seriously what it means to get outside the walls, so we are performing outdoors in "Stumptown Park" in Matthews, NC, on October 30, at 3pm, . There was a great write-up in the Charlotte Observer here:
It included some great quotes:
The concert is a combined effort of the two churches' music ministries, led by Paul Reynolds, director of music ministries at Carmel and Cathy Youngblood, director of music ministries at Good Shepherd.
Youngblood says this event is a response to a new call for churches to balance the "come-and-see" attitude with the "go-and-tell" mindset. "Rather than only presenting the message of Christ through music in the church building and expecting others to come to us, we are heeding the call to go out into the community and meet people where they are," she says.
Performances will include a combined choir from both churches, a variety of jazz favorites performed by soprano Mindy Damon and old-time classics performed by The Rick Bean Jazz Trio.
Rick Bean, founding pianist of the trio, was a long-standing friend of the late Loonis McGlohon, former director of music at Carmel Presbyterian. Bean is now the president of the Loonis McGlohon Foundation, which supports events that promote ministry through jazz.If you are in the area, come out and join us!
Youngblood says that jazz is an accessible means of expression and Stumptown Park, a fun place for families and friends to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon. She says, "We hope to give folks a relaxing evening of jazz - sacred and secular - as a bridge between community and church."
Friday, October 21, 2011
This past week I have been at the Montreat Wee Kirk conference, a wonderful 32-year old conference for smaller membership congregations in the PCUSA. I have been privileged to serve as the conference worship leader and seminar leader for the past 9 years!
Growing up in a church of 3000+, I admit to grossly underestimating the TREASURE in the Kingdom that the small church can be when it sets its eyes on Jesus and follows in obedience to Word and Spirit. Certainly there are churches of all sizes that struggle with health, but size itself is no determiner of faithfulness or effectiveness in the Kingdom. Indeed one of our speakers, Sasan Tavassoli, said he was used to Iranian cell groups of 8-10, so he did not even recognize the distinction between 'big' and 'wee' churches.
I am reminded of our own commitment at Good Shepherd, from 7-8 years ago to be vigorously faithful in the "small things" God laid before us in our immediate neighborhood. Now, it seems clear that God is challenging us to continue outside our walls NEARBY - with tutoring, witnessing, friendships, bluegrass, book clubs, coat drives, relationships, and more; but also FURTHER OUT!