Pastor Howard's Retirement
As you know by now, Rev. Howard Martin has decided to retire and the Martins's last Sunday will be May 29. The circumstances of Howard's final benediction are, for any pastor, reflective of the succession of Paul depicted in Acts 20. As Paul leaves Ephesus for Jerusalem, and ultimately Rome, he charges the elders of the Church there with the pastoral care of the people. Likewise as worship leaders the charge of our church's music ministry is to care for Howard and Carolyn as they begin a new chapter in their lives. I would like to extend that charge to the entire church body. To that end, I think it fitting that we as a church bless them with one final benediction response: Peter Christian Lutkin's classic setting of the Priestly Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26, The Lord Bless You and Keep You. A year ago during the ice storm, I recorded this piece as the benediction response for a Sunday where we only sent out a video worship service because the church facilities had no power and we were unable to meet. Now I present that recording to you again with the intention that you learn this song as a blessing for the Martins on their last Sunday.
Normally, I would pepper this song into our worship music so you'd hear it several times before being expected to sing it. However, I think it would mean more to the Martins if it were a surprise so: 1) Please learn this song on your own, and 2) PLEASE DON'T TELL THEM! I've uploaded the song to this hidden page (above) on the church website along with music and text that will follow along. If you'd like to print the song or download it to use on a tablet or your computer, it's available in PDF below. The Chancel Choir will sing an Amen following this song but this will serve as the final blessing of our church on the Martins in gratitude for twelve years of service.
Speaking of the Chancel Choir, if you would like to join us for a special anthem that day you are very welcome to do so! We will be singing a piece called Recollection of Joy by Donna Butler. Its text is adapted from Philippians 1 in which the Apostle Paul greets the Church at Philippi and recalls with gratitude their friendship, love, and ministry. A marked score has been provided below along with a recording from the publisher's website. We will meet in the choir room (right behind the sanctuary chancel) at 10:40am that morning to rehearse the music for the day. Join us as we honor the Martins's commitment to the Church while glorifying God!
Director of Music Ministries