Ahh! Vacation.  Hopefully you are finding some time to put your feet up and relax.  If you’re like me, that relaxation time also includes some dreaming and thinking ahead.  In yoga class they tell us to let those thoughts flow through and out of your mind and know you can return to them later.  So here are some things to flow through your mind now and I hope you will return to them later, because there are exciting opportunities.

Children’s Music Ministry:We recently had a wonderful visioning meeting for Children’s Music Ministry. We are seeking ways for our children to grow in faith, serve the Lord through music, and become more comfortable participating in, and even taking leadership roles, in worship.  We are grateful to Julie Hamilton Grant for sharing ideas for building our program here at Good Shepherd, and to Christian Education Director Suzanne Gillam for providing us with the Sunday School curriculum so we may coordinate our programs.

New this year will be a choir for Pre-K and Kindergarteners, led by Jen Lentz, which will meet in the Sunday School Opening area from 10:05-10:35 on Sunday mornings.  This idea is so new, we don’t have a name for the group yet, so watch the weekly news, and be in touch with Jen if you have ideas.  Jen has much training in making music with young children, and will help children learn to use their voices and keep the beat.  She’ll include movement and playing instruments in their time together.  Julie Hamilton Grant will assist with this group.  She has a wonderful background, having grown up in an outstanding choir program in her church in Rochester, NY.

Good News Choir: This grade 1-4 group will be led by Julie Schwingbeck and Dana Gillin in the music room from 10:05-10:35 on Sunday mornings.  Julie was the assistant director of this choir for the last two years, and has much experience singing in Women of Note, a women’s a cappella group. Dana is a recent new member of Good Shepherd and the Chancel Choir.  She has studied voice and loves to sing.  Karen Morrissey will accompany this group. Karen has accompanied many soloists, including her cellist son, Luke, and was a leader, with Ernie Zimmermann, of New Direction for several years.

Midweek Singers:  While this has traditionally been a choir for children grades 5-8, last year we included siblings who were here on Wednesday nights, and that included those younger and older than the original age group.  We can be flexible on this.  We are learning to sing in harmony, and will occasionally teach a new hymn to the congregation.  Bess Sproul directs this group.

Allegro Chimes:  We are grateful to Sue Johnson for leading this group for the last few years, and will miss her, as she has moved to Pennsylvania.  We are excited that Jen Fischer will lead this group.  Jen has a background in piano performance, and also has played flute and rung in a bell choir. She is looking for ringers Grade 4 and older.

What else?  What if we added xylophones to play, or a drumming group?  Or a flute choir, or woodwind ensemble?  Is there interest in musical theater?  Guitar lessons? Be in touch with Kent Arnold kent.arnold1@verizon.net. These and other ideas were flying in our meeting.

Ahh! Vacation.  I will be off, starting on June 28th, for two weeks away with dear friends, children and grandkids, but in that time, Ed and I will also attend a conference of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians in Fort Wayne, IN.  So these thoughts will be sometimes in the back of my mind, and sometimes more in the forefront.  But Children’s Music Ministry is always strong in my heart, and I look forward to working with these excellent leaders when I return.

In Christ, Bess Sproul