OUR NEW ORGANIST. First United Church would like to welcome Nara Lee as the incoming church organist. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in Organ Performance and Sacred Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he studies with Dr. Janette Fishell. Nara is from South Korea and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Church Music at Seoul Theological University.
Last April, along with three other organ candidates, Nara auditioned for the position. Among all the candidates, nearly everyone commented on Nara’s exceptional musicality, sensitivity, and high calibre of technical skill.
Nara expresses so readily his love for the organ and playing various styles of sacred music. He has also studied composition at Seoul Jazz Academy and writes music for the organ and choir. Many of his works are published and have been sung in churches throughout South Korea. In addition to his sacred music experience, Nara is the rehearsal pianist for Indiana University Children’s Choir. This July, he recently married Jihye who is studying organ at Jacobs School of Music.
We are all so very excited to have Nara Lee be a part of the strong musical tradition at First United Church.
BOARD OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP SEEKS MEMBER TO SERVE TIL MAY 31, 2019
With the untimely death of Kay Mullinax, the Board of Christian Worship lost one of its members. We miss Kay’s generous, loving presence so much! The Board now seeks a congregant to fill Kay’s position, which will continue through May 31, 2019. Duties of membership on the board include attending 8-9 board meetings (lasting about an hour) per year, setting up and cleaning up Communion about 4-6 times a year, and helping with special services and projects as they arise. If you are interested in serving the church in this way, please see Eric Metzler, Chair.
RESPONDING TO SACRED MUSIC
First United is regularly graced with beautiful music from our choir, our organist, our bell choir, and many soloists and musicians who offer special music. For some, it is a performance that fits into the liturgy, for others, sacred music is the cornerstone of religious experience and for still others, it’s the closest we come to touching the divine. These various perspectives on church music make it difficult to know how to respond.
In a recent Church Council meeting, a few members indicated they feel discomfort at clapping for church music because it suggests performance. In addition, some folks feel awkwardness when we enthusiastically clap for some musical offerings but remain silent for others. Others appreciate the freedom at First United to clap when desired without being expected to clap for everything.
Don’t worry; the BoCW will NOT be establishing a policy or rule for responding to music at First United. Rather, the church council has asked that we open the conversation with the congregation to see if we would like to begin a First United “tradition” for responding to music. Here are two ideas I have heard: After a musical offering we say “Amen” or we use the ASL motion for applause (hands held up, shaking like jazz hands).
Let’s talk about this. What are your thoughts? If you like the idea of a new “tradition,” how might we introduce it and get people comfortable doing it?
The Board would be very happy to hear your ideas. We are Eric Behrman, Hallie Devido, Jean Graves, Eric Metzler, and Florence Shelton.
FRIDAYS AT FIRST UNITED
Play Friday: The next Play Friday will be September 8 from 6-8 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. The theme will be one of welcoming diversity. We will have the usual pizza, games, and FUN! More details TBA. The more the merrier! It helps with food planning if you RSVP to Hopi Stosberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you there!
Just Friday: Just Friday is a recurring adult justice related discussion group on 4th Fridays from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Roger Williams Hall. From May-August our justice discussions will be focused on climate change.
Each month will focus on different aspects of climate change and how the things we do contribute to or help improve the problem. Discussion will revolve around how we can change and create change in the world to positively impact this issue. Our next Just Friday is August 25 with the theme Climate Change and the Stuff We Own?
Light refreshments will be served, there is no childcare for Just Friday. Contact Hopi Stosberg at email@example.com if you have any questions.
DISCIPLE Bible Study. First United Church will be offering a DISCIPLE Bible study class beginning this fall. DISCIPLE is a program of disciplined Bible study aimed at developing strong Christian leaders.
The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principal Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story.
Additional info may be found at https://www.cokesbury.com/product/9780687783496/disciple-i-becoming-disciples-through-bible-study-study-manual/. For more information, contact class facilitator Sam Troxal firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-361-6172.
MINISTER OF CARE FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 20, IS SARAH BURTON. A minister of care is a church volunteer who visits members in their home.