In the introduction to his book, “Making Sense of the Cross,” Luther Seminary Professor David Lose raises many questions, including these: “How should we regard the cross? Is it a sad tragedy that we should grieve? Is it the moment of God’s victory and redemption that we should celebrate?…what kind of God would require such a gruesome death to achieve redemption?” And then he says, “By the time you are done [reading this book], you should not only understand what other Christians have said about the cross, but also what you believe about this central symbol and element of our faith.” If you have ever asked any of these questions and haven’t quite yet found answers that are completely satisfactory, you might enjoy exploring this book with your fellow church members. Rev. Marlayna will be leading a 6 week book discussion group on Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11:45 starting on Saturday, October 5th and running through Saturday, November 2nd. Please talk with Rev. Marlayna if you are interested in attending.
Dear Members and Friends of First Parish Church, Congregational, UCC–
The Music Committee is pleased to announce the happy news that we have found a new Director of Music and Organist! We look forward to introducing him to the congregation on his first Sunday with us, which will be October 6th. In the meantime, we want to let you know a little bit about him, so that you can begin to understand why he was our unanimous choice for this position. First, let me share his picture and bio with you:
Herman Weiss is an internationally renowned composer, conductor, organist and pianist. Dr. Weiss is co-founder of two chamber music societies and created a Master of Music program in composition at the Longy School of Music, where he chaired the department of composition for twelve years. Formerly president and founding member of the Composers in Red Sneakers, he most recently served as organist-choir director for the Village Church of Nahant and, with Marsha Johnson, is a part of the Dreamsong Duo.
As you can imagine from the short summary above, the committee was very impressed with Dr. Weiss’ education, experience, and vast array of musical talents and gifts! So, with his permission, we share with you some of the details he shared with us during the search process:
Prior to serving as Choir Director and Organist of the Village Church in Nahant, Dr. Weiss was Choir Director and Organist at Quincy Point Congregational Church in Quincy, MA, Musical Director at Temple Beth Shalom, Peabody, MA, Organist, Choir Director and Composer at Temple Isaiah, Lexington, MA, Organist and Choir Director at First Baptist Church of Medford, MA, and Organist and Choir Director at First Congregational Church of West Medford, MA. He has conducted adult and children’s choirs and also managed a bell choir.
Besides extensive experience working with churches and temples, Dr. Weiss has a PhD in music composition from Brandeis University and studied composition and organ in Paris at Conservatoire National on a Fulbright Fellowship with Olivier Messaien. He also studied composition, piano and conducting at New England Conservatory.
In his work at Longy School of Music outlined above, he created and taught curriculum for Theory and Modern American Music programs. As a composer, Dr. Weiss has written a great range of works including solo pieces, chamber music, symphonic and choral works. As a pianist and conductor, Dr. Weiss has been a guest artist at numerous music festivals in New England.
Dr. Weiss also has a wide range of musical ability and has worked in Shakespearean theater, was involved with production of musicals including “Godspell” and “Guys and Dolls,” and worked at an improvisation type theater. He worked with a choir to perform an interesting and delightfully humorous musical setting of a weather report composed by Henry Mollicone that is called “National Weather Report.” Herman also performs as part of the DreamSong Duo with his wife, soprano Marsha Johnson.
Herman has expressed that one of the most satisfying aspects of being a church Music Director is making the worship experience in church more meaningful. He also enjoys getting people to make music together. All of this, in combination with his “big picture” thinking, contributed to our committee’s sense that Dr. Herman Weiss is exactly what our church is looking for–praise be to God!
With joy and gratitude,
Maggie Michael, on behalf of the Music Committee
(Ann Greenleaf, Lauren Gudonis, Maggie Michael, Jen Powers, and John Round) and other church leaders who participated in the search effort (Rev. Dr. Marlayna Schmidt, Interim Minister; Nancy Peterson, Moderator; Paul Knox and Rebecca Shrimpton, Section Leaders)
The Jordan Peterson Discussion Group will meet next at 7:30 PM in the Parlor on Monday, September 16. The topic will be lecture 4 of the Biblical Series, Adam and Eve, Self Consciousness, Evil, and Death. No preparation is necessary; clips of the video lecture will be provided as a springboard for discussion. However, if you would like to view the full lecture ahead of the discussion, it may be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifi5KkXig3s&t=939s
This group is open to the public, so please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested. If you have any questions, contact Richard Smith (978-590-7497) or Steve Carhart (978-407-8454).
Monday, Meeting, September 20 at 6:30 PM
At Nina Gadmer’s home, 20 Hickory Hill Rd. Manchester.
The book for discussion is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith.
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years.goodreads
Please RSVP to Nina at email@example.com for planning purposes.
Book group is open to everyone! This is a time for church members as well as non-church goers to come together and engage with one another, build relationships, and share in discussion of books that are of interest to people of various backgrounds.We have fun visiting, discussing the book and sharing stories. Each month is a new host, who provides light snacks, beverages and dessert but only once a year!!!! The host then chooses the book for the next month.
Seaside Parish Knitters
Beginning again this fall on Thursday, Sept. 5 and continuing to meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 4 PM in the Conference Room of the Chapel (behind Santander Bank). All are welcome!
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words
Below are photos of our handmade items and knitters during our get-togethers on the 1st and 3rd Thursday afternoons in the Chapel Parlor.
Over the years we have enjoyed our time knitting and crocheting items for baptismal events at the church, shawls and blankets for friends at home, scarves, neck gators, and helmet liners for our veterans in Afghanistan; and mittens and hats for Cape Ann children.
We all love to knit/crochet, but more importantly we have been rewarded with helping others by sharing our handwork. We would love to have you join us, Sandy, Bonnie, Millie, Sally, Martha, Lauren, Eleanor, Jean, Jan, Mary K., Penny, Cheryl, Mary L., Wendy M., Carol, Doris, Muriel, Liljana, Marianne, Wendy S., Shirley
Several times a year we gather for friendship and conversation and shared food, 6:30 PM place to be announced.
Save the dates of Thursday, October 24, Thursday, January 23, and Thursday, April 30. We will also gather on Wednesday November 20th 1 PM to put together College Pal boxes and Council on Aging baskets at the Chapel.
Any questions, call Mary Ellen Cook.
Jan 20 2019 Service Cancelled