This week at church council, we heard a proposal from the music committee. For a number of years, we have had four or five pianists on a regular rotation for our worship services, but that is changing. I’ve also noticed that it’s been many years since we’ve had a men’s group sing, or a choir for Easter or Advent or Pentecost, or an orchestra of all our musicians. People are very busy and don’t have time to put into the organizing needed for this type of music ministry, and we’ve had some musically talented people move out of the congregation as well.
Once Katie Friesen leaves for Chad, the burden for accompaniment will fall on only two people, which is a very heavy load. Our musicians already spend many hours choosing and rehearsing the music that we enjoy, and we really appreciate it! Even with four pianists this past year, I read many emails as people scrambled to find a replacement for a Sunday they were planning to be away. We have some younger children who are studying piano, but it may be many years before they feel comfortable playing for a whole worship service.
Church council is inviting everyone to a meeting after church on July 5th to talk about the music committee’s proposal, which I am including here. We hope you can come and join the discussion!
Music Committee Proposal
There is no doubt that music is a powerful form of communal worship and that it is important in the eyes of the people of First Mennonite. We are at a crossroads. Harold Nigh has left off playing piano indefinitely. Katie Friesen is leaving us this summer for a year in Chad. Now is an opportunity perhaps to look for a musician who would not only help to replace these losses, but would help us co-ordinate and facilitate music and the musicians in our church. We are suggesting that the church consider paying a musician for this purpose. This would not mean replacing our volunteer musicians, but hiring someone to work with us and strengthen us in this ministry.
Music committee is proposing that we hire a musician on a six-month contract. Working several hours a week, we may need to budget $3000 for this expense. We could review how this is working at the end of six months. Katie Friesen and I would be happy to talk about this further with you, as to whether you think this is a good direction to take. Thanks for your consideration of this request.
Jane Nigh and Katie Friesen, Music Committee