With Memorial Day weekend just days away, I am reminded that we have come to the end of another year of ministry (if you think of these things in terms not of the official Church Year but of the practical School Year calendar). Before we enter into our summer schedule (Sunday worship times stay the same at 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.; Wednesday Campfire "hotdog" worship begins on May 31) it is good to pause and give thanks. In previous weeks, I shared thanks for the Sunday School teachers and Confirmation Small Group leaders - because of their wonderful efforts, we have exciting ways of encouraging faith in our children and teens. I remain thankful for them and for the kind of relationship-based ministry that we are offering as a church.
This week, I want to strike a slightly different key - literally. I want to share words of thanks and deep appreciation for our Music Ministry. There is a long standing tradition of quality and participatory music at St. James. We have great choirs (vocal and bells) and awesome leaders who not only direct the notes on the page but also (and perhaps more important) foster relationships among those who share their musical talents. Each choir is a group that genuinely cares for each other. I am thankful for the overall guidance of Kelvin Miller (Minister of Music), the passion and skill which Jan Pofahl (Organist and Principle Accompanist) shares on the keyboards of piano and organ, and for each of our choir directors: for Kjersten Dysthe (Praise III), Kari Owens (Jubilation Ringers), Barb McCutcheon (Grace A'Plenty), and Barb Kleinfeldt (Soul Fire). Thankful for each of the choirs - Chancel, Praise III, Grace A'Plenty, Jubilation Ringers, and Soul Fire (previously Praize Wee). Thankful also for the additional musicians that provide accompaniment throughout the year: Bob Andrews (Bass, guitar), Mark Lind (mandolin and guitar), Jeff Owens (Banjo and guitar), , Jeni Wojahn (piano and flute), Carolyn Fuerst (piano), Janet Karsten (guitar), Tim Evans (Bass), Tim Pofahl (Trombone) and Dave Osterkamp (drums). We are also thrilled to have our youth assist with festivals and special events: Jack Tressel (drums), Sarah Dysthe (Trumpet), Ainsley Fuerst (Oboe), Mark (French Horn) and Noah (Trumpet) Lichtenberger. As you see we have so many talented folks - please forgive me if I have left any names out.
God has richly blessed us with the ability and the passion to raise our songs of gladness.
Thank you all.
I look forward to the music that is yet to be made.