May 20, 2021
What a joy-filled morning of worship it was last Sunday. For the first time in a long time we gathered for worship indoors at both our early and late services. It felt so good to look out and see so many of your faces lifting praise to God in word and voice in our beautiful newly renovated sanctuary. All I could keep thinking throughout that whole morning were three simple words: “God is good!”

And speaking of seeing faces… as we shared in last Sunday morning's weekly worship email, following the release of newly revised guidance from the CDC stating that fully vaccinated individuals are safe to gather inside/outside without masks or distancing, the session of St. Simons Presbyterian approved updating our congregational guidelines effective immediately. Fully vaccinated individuals are now no longer required to wear a mask at indoor worship and gatherings. Anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated — including unvaccinated children and youth — are asked to please continue wearing a mask in worship and indoor group activities both for their own protection and for the safety of others around them. We also want anyone and everyone (vaccinated or not) who is simply more comfortable continuing to wear a mask in a public/group settings to know that that is perfectly okay and welcome at all SSPC functions. 

Lastly, whether you join us for worship in-person or online, please remember that this Sunday is not one to miss. In addition to being Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate the birth of the church, we are also going to be ordaining and installing our newest class of church officers (deacons and elders) as well as formally dedicating our newly renovated spaces for use. In addition to offering our thanks and praise to God, we will also recognize and say thank you to many of the key leaders who helped to guide our congregation from start to finish through this years long renovation. It will be quite the celebration!

Be sure to note the many other opportunities ahead for learning and fellowship included in this week’s newsletter. We are particularly excited to once again welcome Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams to teach our joint Sunday school class. Beginning on May 30, Joanna will be leading a 3-week series on the stories of Elijah and Elisha from 1 and 2 Kings. Joanna is one of the most respected teachers and preachers in the Presbyterian Church (USA) – not only are you sure to learn something new in her class, but you’re also guaranteed to have fun while you do! 

Starting next week our newsletter shifts to a bi-weekly publication schedule throughout the summer months. So be on the lookout for your next newsletter the week of May 30. See you at church. Invite a friend. Dig out something red from your closet!* Casual is fine. 

Peace,
Rev. Alan Dyer
Pastor

*The color red has long symbolized the joy and fire of the Holy Spirit that mark the Pentecost story.
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May 16, 2021
Musical Notes
In May of 2019, the organ was removed and thus began the renovation. Exactly two years later, the instrument is complete. Once the installation was finished, James Freeman and Pete Duys made the necessary adjustments and tuned the pipes. Now, the instrument has to “settle in” and acclimate to the building and upcoming seasons that produce changes to the humidity and temperature in the room. The design of our building is fortunate because of the inner sanctum of the organ chamber and the basically constant temperature range. Many organs are relegated to existing next to outside walls and are exposed to all kinds of temperature fluctuations.  Thank you to the original designers for their forethought and wisdom.   

If there was another more profound word for gratitude, I would use it here. From the perspective of a music director, it was such a great experience all the way around working with the outside companies of Schleuter Organ Company, Ussery & Rule Architects, and Tyson Construction. We couldn’t have had a better team than these fine people. Behind the scenes were all the staff, especially Walter Lynn who coordinated with many sub-contractors when the existing building came into play. Musicians always need things moved – chairs, grand pianos, other instruments, walls, pulpits, etc. J Again, thanks to the many who have enhanced our worship space, therefore creating more inspiring worship for everyone.   
Speaking of organs, this Sunday we will pull out all the stops! The Chancel Ensemble joins with the Chancel Choir to present Eugene Butler’s “Festival Piece on St. Anne” which is actually “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past.” You will be invited to sing along with us at the end of the anthem.   

Hymns for Sunday: 280 Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us (remember the old hymn “Once to Every Man and Nation? This is the tune); 295 Go to the World! (this is to the tune of For All the Saints); and as a sending song we will sing “We Are the Church.” It would be most excellent to hear all voices singing their most robust on Sunday. If you have a hymnal, practice a little – or go to hymnary.org – most all hymns can be found there.   
On Sunday, May 30, the Chancel Choir will sing Stainer’s “God So Loved the World,” a timeless anthem since 1904! We will also remember our veterans with an arrangement of “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” written by a conductor of the Navy Sea Chanters, Bryan Kidd. Several years ago, I called them and asked if we could use the arrangement and he sent it! Hymns will be 1 Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty and 634 To God Be the Glory.   
Here comes June!    
 
Love & Gratitude,  
Rhonda 
The Week Ahead
Sunday, May 23
8:30 am Indoor Worship - Sanctuary
9:30 am Combined Sunday School - Zoom
9:30 am Britt Class - Ashantilly Room
10:30 am Indoor/Livestream Worship - Sanctuary

Monday, May 24
10:00 am Chancel Ensemble - Location Varies

Tuesday, May 25
9:30 am Staff Meeting - Upper Room

Wednesday, May 26
10:00 am Men’s Bible Study - Zoom
6:00pm Chancel Choir - Sanctuary

Thursday, May 27
10:00am Grief Group - Upper Room
10:00am Ladies Bible Study - Sanctuary

Friday, May 28
No Activities Planned for this Day
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