Our church choir welcomes 4 new members to our music family. All of these folks “officially” joined the congregation in April. Fritz Faust, Bon-nie Faust, and Beth Washle have been a part of the ensemble since January. Jo Irwin attended her first rehearsal in late April. We welcome these singers, who all are such valuable assets to the music program here at Holy Comforter.
Our choirs will continue to lead services of wor-ship during the month of May, and throughout the summer months. Opportunities for vocal and in-strumental solos, duets, and small group ensem-bles abound. Contact Greg Cline if you are willing to share your God given musical talents. God loves a cheerful giver...don’t make us come after you!
Our church retreat to Isle of Palms concludes on May 3. Following a fellowship breakfast we gath-er for closing worship before returning home. This is the 26th year for this event. The retreat is open to any member of Holy Comforter. Google: Coastal Retreat Center Isle of Palms, for details.
Thanks also to members of our chamber, hand-bell, and children’s ensemble ministries. All of these groups have abundantly shared throughout the year. The children's ensemble ministry has been blessed with parents and guardians who have been supportive not only with transportation needs, but also with coordinating busy family calendars. I personally wish to thank Beth Brittain who has assisted this past year. What a blessing you all are!
Sunday, February 1 is Super Bowl Sun-day. Because so many watch the game we traditionally modify our afternoon music schedule.
Children’s Ensemble: Brief meeting with children and parents in the choir room immediately after worship.
Adult Handbells: 4:00 pm
Church Choir: 5:00-6:00pm (Everyone home before kickoff)
The ladies’ circles will sponsor a choir appreciation dinner for all church choir members on Sunday, February 15. On this day we must modify our afternoon music schedule:
Children’s Ensemble: Brief meeting in the choir room immediately after wor-ship.
Adult Handbells: 4:00 pm
Choir Dinner: 5:00 pm
Church choir rehearsal: 6:00 pm
The 26th Annual Congregational Retreat to Isle of Palms is Thursday, April 30- Sunday, May 3. A number of rooms are reserved but several rooms are still available. Rooms may be reserved up until February 15 by sending checks made out to Holy Comforter. Cost is $75/night (2-night mini-mum). Be sure to indicate on your check that it is for Isle of Palms Retreat. Contact Greg Cline for additional info and availability of rooms. After mid February we must return available reserved space to the retreat cen-ter. This wonderful fellowship opportunity is open to all.
Music Week at Lutheridge is July 5-11. Several children from Holy Comforter have indicated an interest in attending. Music Week, for over 60 years, has remained the most popular camp of the summer. Holy Comforter will offer, as funds are available, scholarships for those interested in attending Music Week.
Contact Greg Cline, and register early.
Years ago Holy Comforter sponsored Susan Shoemaker, a very accomplished mu-sician in Charlotte, who came to the church and taught Suzuki music classes. This method of music concentrates on ear training, distin-guishing pitches in particular. Many families from Holy Comforter and the community participated. It was a wonderful outreach for us to serve as a satellite location.
A number of folks have inquired as to the availability of starting up another class. If enough interest is generated from the congregational family and community we could have Ms. Shoemaker schedule a Q and A session. There is no obligation, but we were wondering how much interest there might be to bring back such a program. Classes for the most part are taught in small groups of similar ages/level. Instruments may be purchased or rented. Cost is around $60/month, depending on instrument, and includes music materials. Classes would be offered on Mondays after school for several hours. Instruments are sized for every size child from toddler-adult. Ellen Fleming and Deborah Bingham are current students of Susan Shoemaker. Classical guitar, violin and cello are all options.
All music ministry rehearsals will resume on The Epiphany of Our Lord. So, cham-ber choir, that is Tuesday, January 6 at 7:00 pm, Congratulations, you are the first rehearsal of the New Year. Full schedules for all ensembles are listed on the January calendar.
Thanks again to all the choirs of Holy Comforter for your leadership and un-failing dedication to Christ and His Church. All Christian churches through-out the globe struggle with many of the same challenges of meeting weekly per-formance deadlines. With God’s help, guidance, and grace, we are able to ac-complish what we do. Thanks be to Bod! If you missed some of the Advent and Christmas services of worship, tune in to www.holyc.org. Tim Baker records and posts them all under Resources/Audio.
The church choir wishes to thank Tom & Shirley Causby for hosting another de-lightful Christmas Dinner Party in their lovely home. Nearly 40 people in attend-ance sing, eat their full, and fellowship together.
Carmen Buell gets a round of ap-plause! For over six months, and count-ing, Carmen has single-handedly taken on the task of refiling the choir anthem library. Some of the anthems date back to the earliest days of our church history. Carman is also working on compiling some trivia concerning this library collec-tion. Stay tuned for that, coming soon.
Thank you, Saint Carmen!
Our choirs are practicing music diligently for all the services of worship between now and Christmas. Some folks are involved in as many as three ensembles.
The typical worship service hopefully ap-pears rather seamless in application, but a number of anthems offered by our choirs require many rehearsal hours to perfect. Thanks to all who give so willingly of time and talent. It is an honor to serve along side all of these fellow ministers of music.
The Children’s Ensemble resumed in September. In December the kids, along with our church choirs, will be singing with ensembles from Queen of the Apostles. Details will appear in later news-letters. For now, it is important to let all the parents know that the children have been given the musical text, which we ask your assistance in enabling them to memorize. We will continue working on these and oth-er songs each Sunday at 4:00 pm. The date of the program is Sunday, Decem-ber 7 at 4:00 p.m. Greg Cline
Our church and handbell choirs will re-hearse on a regular schedule during the month, with the exception of Lutheridge Sunday, September 14. We will gather that morning in the chapel at 10:00 am to pre-pare for worship. Chamber choir continues with regular scheduling.
The children’s ensemble will resume on September 21. Parents are asked to bring their children (K-Grade 5) at 4:00 pm on Sundays. Games, singing, ringing, Bible stories, and just plain fellowship time domi-nate our 45 minutes. Cost: FREE!
Our choir has accepted an invitation to share a Christmas Cantata Concert with the choirs of Queen of the Apostle Cath-olic Church. Details will follow in the com-ing months. So yes, we have already start-ed rehearsing our Christmas music and everything in between.
Special thanks to Julia Gunter who re-cently reorganized the balcony handbell music; and to Carmen Buell who has spent much of her summer (on Wednes-days) refiling thousands of choral anthem copies. Your gifts of time do not go unap-preciated.
The chamber, church, and handbell en-sembles have been diligent in their prepa-rations of the Lenten and Easter season. On Palm Sunday the children’s ensemble will join with the adults as they present the musi-cal offering, Blessed Is He, based on the tri-umphant procession of Jesus into the Holy City.
Maundy Thursday service will reflect songs of the Passion of Christ, as well as the ser-vice of worship on Good Friday.
We will literally pull-out-all-the-stops for our festival services on Easter Sunday. As we gather at sunrise, fanfares will announce the Risen Savior from the Tomb. The 10:30 am service will resound with trumpet duets ac-companying the assembly and choir. We will all sing the new composition, Heart and Voice to Heaven Raise. This work displays the glory of the holy Easter morn. Invite your family and friends to all these worship op-portunities.
Greg Cline, Organist/Choirmaster
Ash Wednesday will involve musical leadership from the church and chamber choirs, as well as the Holy Comforter children’s ensemble. We will gather in the sanctuary 10 minutes prior to the 7:00 pm service on March 5th. The church choir will be seated in the nave, behind the assembly. The chil-dren will be seated together in front of the choir. Any mommies or daddies willing to assist (as monitors), please speak to Greg Cline.
This service of reflection will use selected portions from “Mass for the Life of the World.” Arranged by David Hass, the opening Kyrie is sung by the Cantor using the original Hawaiian text. While the rest of the service may be sung in Spanish, the choirs will lead everyone in English…(you’re welcome!) While the Ash Wednesday service includes much more liturgy and Holy Communion, we will use the “Mass” for our liturgy on Tuesdays during the season of Lent.
We bid farewell to Gayla and Dallas Foscue who have now moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Gayla has been a faithful member of the music ministry since 1996, having served multiple roles in the church, chamber, and handbell choirs. Gayla was recently presented with an engraved crystal plate with our expessions of love and appreciation.
Members of all the adult musical ensembles wish to extend words of thanks to members of the ladies circles. The choirs were recently treated to a won-derful appreciation dinner. Afterward the choir sang for their supper. Thanks, folks. We did very much feel appreciated...and full!
Greg Cline, Music Director
Many have asked, “When will the bells be ringing again?” We hope before Christmas. While there are no guarantees, the Carillon repair firm has indicated that season as their target date. The bells were not as easily removed as anyone anticipated, some having to be ‘cut away’ from the tower. Let us remember that…”Good things come to those who wait.”
Blessings to all the dedicated musician lead-ers of Holy Comforter who give so unselfishly of their time and talent. Rehearsals continue as we prepare for all upcoming festival services of worship. Sunday, October 6 (World Communion Sunday) will feature the church choir offering “Canticle of the Turn-ing.” This powerful anthem tune will be familiar to many. The Church, Chamber, and Handbell ensembles have already been working on material for Advent through Christmas. Remember that all of our bulletins and audio Services of Worship are now posted on our website: www.holyc.org.
The Children’s Ensemble (Pre-K—Grade 4) continues on Sundays at 4:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Special thanks to all the parents (drivers) who faithfully support this ministry! Activities include more than just singing. The children are introduced to bell ringing, percussion instruments, Bible study topics; even special scavenger hunts in which we learn bits of church history, and the many features of symbolism throughout the church. “Let the children come...and bring a friend!”
The church choir will lead our service of worship at Lutheridge on Sunday, October 13. Choir members are asked to gather in Whisnant Chapel at 10:15 am for a brief preparation session. All afternoon musical activities on that date are can-celled.
Children’s Ensemble meets at 4:00 pm on Sundays in the Fellowship Hall. We welcome all children of Holy Comforter, and their friends(Pre-K—Early Elemen-tary). Parents, please encourage your child to partici-pate in this ministry. This is a great way for them to learn the gift of “service.”
Adult Handbell Ensemble meets in the balcony at 5:00 pm on Sundays. We have already looked at sev-eral seasonal works. Thanks to all those who helped “polish” each of the 35 bells!
Church Choir meets in the choir room at 6:00 pm on Sundays. This talented assembly rehearses several months in advance of many musical offerings.
Chamber Choir meets in the choir room on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm
Folks with inquiring minds and a spirit led calling to investigate any of these ongoing ministries, contact Greg Cline at email@example.com or 704-825-3444.
As of the writing of this article, we now enjoy:
The beauty of the new floor recently replaced in the chancel.
The renovation of the Carillon is in wait due to an overwhelming volume of business...the bell folks still promise ASAP.
The new floor should be in place in the gallery by early September. You can’t see it from the nave so come take a look.
We are not done yet. The Sanctuary Committee will continue this fall investigating additional areas of at-tention.
New seating in the choir loft is a gift from Greg Cline in honor of all music ministers of Holy Comforter, and in honor of Faye & Warren Heller and Tom & Shirley Causby. The stackable chairs are made of oak and feature bonded leather seats/backs.
Members are invited to view all the improvements to the balcony. Drop by before or after the service of worship.
Early in August over 20 children and adults from Holy Comforter “field tripped” to Lutheridge. The main purpose of the trip was certainly to have a fun day together with church family members, but also to learn and grow in a hands-on experience with our nearest church camp. The group got a personalized tour from the camp director. Lutheridge even opened the pool to our kids for a private party after lunch. The tour, scheduled on the last full day of summer camp, allowed everyone to see many of the campers and facilities in action. Thanks to Tom & Shirley Causby who treated everyone to lunch in the dining hall and invited everyone into their home for a break.
The following quotes are from two parents on the trip: “Lutheridge offers a wonderful atmosphere for our children to learn and grow in Christ. Our tour offered a glimpse into what the campers experience on a daily basis...cabin life, swimming, zip lining, canoeing, hik-ing as well as lunch in the dining hall. It was a wonder-fully meaningful experience, even to be there just for the day. My children would love to be a part of the camper experience.” Maria Carr
“The church trip to Lutheridge was wonderful, not only for my kids, but for me. I never knew we had such an amazing church retreat so close by. My kids enjoyed seeing the fun adventures that they will get to experi-ence at summer camp. As for me, I enjoyed the peacefulness of the beautiful surroundings, and see-ing the looks of anticipation as Emily and Justin made plans to spend summers there in the future. I have a good feeling that I will be making many more trips to Lutheridge.” Misty Koehler
We would love to send a “bus load” of Holy Com-forter kids to Lutheridge in the future. Let us know if you have questions!
Recently, Greg Cline and I, plus about 325 others, from young children to adults, par-ticipated in Music Week at Lutheridge in Arden, NC. It was a great week! For all participants there were optional activities such as choral groups, handbell classes, drumming, and other musical activities, plus swimming, hiking, crafts, and many of the usual camp activities for children. There was plenty of time for relaxation throughout the week as well. Any child or adult who enjoys music might consider attending during Music Week. Lutheridge offers weekly sessions all summer (only one Music Week, though)! My 4 adult chil-dren and I have spent a total of 40 weeks through the years at camp at Lutheridge!
Copyright © 2023 Lutheran Church of the
Holy Comforter, Belmont NC
Sunday Worship 10:30 am
Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter
216 N Main Street
Belmont, NC 28012
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 - 1:30