3. Music Notes

Music is such an important part of our coming together at United Presbyterian Church. We have been a new congregation for several years, coming from many different paths, but desiring to continue our worship, day to day life, and mission united in our church and community. With that in mind, the Music Search Committee with Session confirmation affirmed a vision of Music Coordinator. It has been my belief that we, as pastors and music leaders, are prompters of worship; the congregation are the actors, and God is the audience—a theory written by Soren Kierkegaard in the 1800s. The congregation is not coming to be entertained but to actively engage in worship. An article by Emily Brink, a pastor in our tradition, said that we might think of the fact that, while the theologian Kierkegaard suggested that theory so long ago, we don’t need to invite God; God is actively among and in what we do. We are encouraged to know how to come before God. The children’s song: “Come into his presence singing Alleluia” includes all of us. Joyfully participate no matter what part we play.

It has been my pleasure to talk with several of the people in our worshiping congregation, and they all are anxious and excited to be a part of music with every resource that we have—instruments, children, adults, community guests—and to use a variety of styles—traditional, modern, jazz, folk, blues—not all at once but intermingled. What will surface is a worship service with music that has variety, vibrancy and includes everyone who wishes to participate.

We have a particular challenge in our worship space that gives us an opportunity to think outside the box in ways that will help us be joyful, creative, and include people who will give of their time as their lives allow. We also want to energize congregational participation with joyful encouragement of singing hymns and songs that may bring a variety of ways to utilize our sanctuary space. This can be an interesting and exciting journey.

It will be my job to play both organ and piano, to direct the choir and other musical groups, but also to invite and encourage others in our church and community to do so as well from time to time. All of you who will be reading this, please feel free to talk with me—by phone or email, but hopefully in person—about your ideas and people to contact who might be a resource for creating music. And, yes, you might be that person who wants to use their gifts or undiscovered talents to ring bells, play a tambourine, a percussion instrument, piano, organ, drums, sing, sign… you can fill in more of your ideas.

Cheers, Rebecca Mebert (Becky), Music Coordinator