March 2022
This issue of the Connect! newsletter is a bit different - as we hear about worshipping God though musical expression here at All Saints, from participation in the choir, praise music at the Family Table service, and more. Especially, do not miss the interview with our Minister of Music, Peter Crisafulli, as he takes us through his own musical and professional journey and explains how he chooses music to enhance our worship. In all these articles, one theme is repeated over and over: we sing, play, and worship to the Glory of God!
Beautiful Noise
by Kate Huntress-Reeve, Assistant to the Minister of Music
In the Bible, singing is a frequent form of communication. We understand that King David was a musician, and the Psalms are his songs. We are called by the Psalms to sing: “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” Psalm 95:1 

The Bible speaks of many others singing as well - Jesus and his disciples sing a hymn at the Last Supper. All Creation is directed to “Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing!”  (Isaiah 49:13)  Zephaniah 3:17 says the Lord “will exult over you with loud singing.”  (The Creator sings over us!) C.S. Lewis envisioned Creation itself as sung into being by the Lord: “In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing…it seemed to come from all directions at once…Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard.” (C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew.)

How does a congregation hear these myriad other voices? All Saints is blessed with a Choir who exercise precisely this liturgical ministry. The musical settings the Choir offers are works of human inspiration, yet offer glimpses of divinity. Church choirs are tasked with communicating the voices of humanity, of the prophets, of saints and angels, and most astonishingly, the voice of our God. We link Heaven and earth in worship and celebration.

Lent has just begun, but the Choir began Lenten preparation weeks ago. Among the works Peter has chosen for us this year is Nolo Mortis Peccatoris (Latin for “I do not desire the death of sinners,”) set by Thomas Morley. The heartbreaking music and text create a window into Christ’s prayers at Gethsemane and on the Cross, and we seem to witness His conversation with His Father. Jesus states that He has been and will be obedient to all that is asked of Him. He acknowledges the torments to come, and the “death most tart” that awaits. But threaded through the text is this: “Nolo mortis peccatoris.” Again and again, Jesus repeats that He does not desire the deaths of sinners, carrying the idea throughout his last days and holding it as a talisman at the last.  

And we, the Choir, are appointed and tasked with sharing Christ’s purpose to do whatever He must to prevent the eternal deaths of sinners. The Son of Man sings in our time through the Choir. Together with Him, and with prophets, saints, angels, and those who have gone before, we make the most beautiful of noises.
All Saints Organ Renewal
by Peter Crisafulli, Minister of Music
Shortly after Easter the long-planned renovation of the All Saints organ will commence. A major portion of this project was made possible by the All Saints Kingdom Campaign. The project will take some 4 -5 months to complete, of which the organ will be out of commission for about 3 months.

It will be well worth it, though! The organ console from which the organist plays, now badly worn and unreliable after fifty-plus years of constant use, will be replaced with a new custom-designed console. The new console, with its more compact design, will eliminate the partial obstruction of the aisle behind the choir pews and beautify the chancel with its oak-paneled casework featuring the gothic arch decorative design found on all of the church’s pews.

In tandem with the new console, all components and wiring of the organ’s obsolete electrical control system will be replaced and brought up to code.

The overall sound of the organ will remain largely unchanged; however, a few defective sets of pipes will be replaced, and all of the nearly 2,000 (!) sound-producing pipes will be carefully checked and fine-tuned as needed. As a result, the renewed organ will have greater refinement in tone as well as offering even greater flexibility in the sounds it produces.

The ultimate goal of the organ refurbishment is to correct deficiencies and realize the full potential of our organ, bringing out the greatest excellence possible in its role as a musical vehicle for supporting and accompanying the rich musical tradition of All Saints Church in the service of worshiping our Lord.

To God be the glory!
Worship Music at the Family Table Service
by Gary Wieder, Family Minister
Most Sunday mornings at the Family Table Service (8:30 a.m. in The Great Hall), you will find myself, Shireen David, and Zacher Bayonne leading worship music. Music has been one of the most important parts of worship in my Christian journey. Sermons, prayers, and scripture reading are main parts of our worship services; likewise, many of our worship songs contain scripture and many are prayers in themselves. We intentionally search for music that is Biblical and thoughtful – and we try to teach songs that those with a wide variety of musical abilities are able to sing.
 
We believe it is a wonderful, personal, and active way to express our love, praise and glory to God – who is worthy of it all. We often ask the congregation to imagine it as worship for an audience of one (God!). We realize music can connect with different people in different ways. One style usually does not fit all. But that’s ok because we also know God is big enough to show up in different ways – He will be glorified and we will be blessed through it. 
SPOTLIGHT: An Interview with Minister of Music, Peter Crisafulli
by Teri Ballou, Communications Manager

I recently sat down with Peter Crisafulli, our wonderful and talented Minister of Music, to talk about his musical and professional journey. Did you know that Peter has been at All Saints for more than thirty years?! Despite sitting right across the hall from him for almost four years (okay, not for about a year during Covid!), I learned so much from our time together. I hope you will read the whole interview - you will surely be blessed as I was!
Where are you from?  What is your family and musical background?
I was born in Chicago and lived all my life in Evanston, Illinois, until moving here in 1988 to take the job with All Saints.

I was interested in music from an early age - my family was musical, and my father was in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 50 years. At age 7, I insisted on joining the boys choir at St. Luke’s, the church where I grew up. The main requirement was to be able to sit still through two services - which I was determined to do!  I played the clarinet from 4th grade through high school.  In my HS yearbook, I was named “most likely to be playing in a symphony orchestra”.

What else did you do and like?
I loved science. I enjoyed various science projects, and was a member of the science club. I especially experimented with electricity - batteries, wires, doorbells, - you name it.  A lot of fellow students figured I’d be an electrician when I grew up!

How did you move to being an organist and church musician?
St. Luke’s was very instrumental in my musical background. I had listened to the organ every week as I grew up, and the choir master was inspiring.  But in 8th grade, a seminal event occurred:  the (frankly terrible) organ in the lady chapel at St. Luke’s was replaced.  I took home some of the pipes from the old organ, and from then on, began to learn everything I could about the organ.  God was already drawing me in and forming me, without me realizing it.

I actually started the organ rather late. When I realized what I wanted, I first had to begin taking piano lessons, which I did in spring of 8th grade - despite already having choir and clarinet. And I was allowed to "fool around” for an hour a week on the organ.  It was hard and took commitment, but my goal was to audition for college on the organ. The clarinet eventually fell by the wayside - although more than one college said they’d accept me as a music major on the clarinet, and not the organ! I ended up at Northwestern — my hometown school — where I learned and thrived, while also continuing in the choir at St. Luke’s.

How did your professional career begin and grow?
My professional resume is actually rather short. I took my first official church job in my junior year of college as the organist for the student Episcopal Ministry at Northwestern.  After graduate school, where I learned to be more self-reliant and to trust what I had learned, I served as the Director of Music at St. Mark’s in Evanston, Illinois, for 14 years, until taking the job at All Saints.

Click below to read more, including how God led Peter and Linda to All Saints, how Peter selects music for worship, composing, and more!
Staff member Edyta Cousens has been researching All Saints history, looking through our archives and visiting the Chevy Chase Historical Society. She has found some historical gems for us, which we will periodically include in the newsletter as part of our “Then & Now” series. It is a labor of love!
A Historical View of Music at All Saints
by Edyta Cousens, Communications Assistant
The local Historical Society holds a 1980 publication entitled “A Profile of All Saints Church”. It is a remarkable read because it gives an honest picture of what All Saints was like in the midst of cultural transition. Among other things, it includes answers to a survey conducted in response to dropping participation, some of which were not too flattering!  However, one ministry that escaped criticism was the Music Program – long a strength of All Saints. The Profile mentions the “fine and beautiful” music offered during regular services, as well as other musical events, some of which we still do, including Lessons & Carols and the Advent and Lenten Evensongs, marking these special seasons in the church year.

Interestingly, the Men, Boys, and Girls choirs inhabited a different location than at present. The weekly rehearsals proudly resounded in the square Tower, which was named the Music building. The dressings rooms, music library, and gathering space stretched from the second floor to the fourth. Imagine the hustle and bustle and musical vibrations around the stairways of this “architectural grace-note”. Fun as this location might sound, also imagine the effort it took to haul an instrument up those same stairs, or the frustration if you happened to have an injury. Our present location is a lot more convenient and accessible to all who wish to lift their voice in worship and song! 
Previous issues of the Connect! - celebrating God's faithfulness to us and His work among and through us - are available on the church website HERE. The January 2022 issue included reports on Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas; February spotlighted one of our small groups, a report from the Rangers - ASC Missionaries to Uganda, a look back at our Children's programs; and more. Next month, look for pictures of many recent activities, as All Saints continues to reopen fully!

Please join us in continuing to celebrate the good news of God working in our midst - ideas for the Connect newsletter are always welcome! You may submit possible topics, photos, or short (1 - 3 paragraph) articles to Communications Manager Teri Ballou.
How may we help?
We are here for you. If you need help, 
please call (301) 654-2488 or email info@allsaintschurch.net. All inquiries confidential.
Looking for more?