I am absolutely rejoicing in the many great things that are happening at FMC. A few weeks ago, I wrote a bit about our Music Ministry and, this week, I’d like to pick up where I left off with the celebration and take the time to call your attention to a few exciting events on the horizon.

I’ll start by going back as far as Easter and saying how wonderful it is to be in a congregation that values music and provides funding for things like an orchestra. It was a first for us, having an orchestra for Easter, and brought a great new dimension to our worship. I’m also grateful for funding that means we can have Summer Music Camp each year without the need to charge for attendance.

In case you missed the Summer Music Camp June 16th performance of It’s Cool in the Furnace, I’ll just say that we may have quite a few kids headed to Broadway in a decade or two. They did a spectacular job, but much more importantly than that, those children had love and fellowship and discipleship poured over them and they soaked in every drop. There was talent a-plenty, but the encouragement and support along with the music education far outshined the performance itself. A super special thanks to all those who worked our Camp this year.

Speaking of Summer, I’ll briefly mention Choir Charge again. It’s August 26-28. Keep your eyes on eNews for an informational article in the near future. Briefly though, Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and Sunday at Noon: a great time of fellowship and preparation. I think some of you reading this need to be sharing some hidden talent God has given you. And I promise I don’t force anyone to sing any solos.

One of the things we will begin during Choir Charge is our Christmas Cantata. I’m very busy right now deliberating about which one would be perfect for us. It’s always a special event for our congregation and, as always, will be the second Sunday of December. Mark your calendars and tell all your friends. It’s a great time to invite neighbors to First Methodist for a taste of our hospitality.

Also, this fall – we are considering the Christmas season – will be the rescheduled Music Intern Concert. Unfortunately, some scheduling and some COVID caught us last month and we had to cancel. They are disappointed about that and putting some thought into a new date. We’d also like to have a little “meet the interns” moment for you after the concert. Keep watch for that coming announcement. In addition to an evening of great music, it’s an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ to the congregation for funding that program. Gifts to the Music Ministry rather than budget dollars keeps the intern portion of our ministry moving forward.

And…. so much more to share and so little time and space. I’ll just close with a few quick notices. Children’s Choirs will start again on the afternoon of September 11thChildren’s Handbells will begin one week later, September 18th. We have a group for new ringers as well as our young, advanced ringers. And adults, we haven’t forgotten you either. Watch eNews for Chancel Bells (adult handbell) dates and times coming soon.

Finally, two very exciting events I want to mention – one for our Sanctuary Choir; one for our congregation. We have the extraordinary opportunity to host composer Pepper Choplin at FMC in October. I’ll have more to say about Pepper and his marvelous gifts of music closer to the date, but it is a real treat to have him in our church. He will be coming for a clinic with the choir and, a few days later, a concert with our Sanctuary Choir.  I can’t remember a time in the last 20+ years that we’ve had a guest artist come in for a performance quite like this. So, mark your calendars for Sunday evening, October 16th. You will NOT want to miss this.

Let me close by saying how incredibly happy I am and lucky I am to be serving this church in this time. God is definitely working among us and how very grateful I am to be called as a part of it. Thank you all for the encouragement and support you give to all of us in your Music Ministry. And thank you to everyone in the ministry who shares their gifts to spread God’s love through music. Rejoice!!

Blessings,

Craig Stephan
Music Director
First Methodist Conroe