This Sunday, our Gun Violence Prevention group will host a visiting Concert Across America. See our Social Action page for details.
"Love Is the Spirit of this Church" by Elizabeth AlexanderAfter a very successful September, which included the choir retreat and the first Sunday morning back for the Chalice Choir, we are starting October off with a BANG!
The musicians of UU Lansing will present the World Premiere of “Love Is the Spirit of this Church” by Elizabeth Alexander at the Building Dedication on Sunday, October 2. Elizabeth is an internationally known composer and also a UU herself, and the Chalice Choir has sung several of her compositions over the past few years. When we decided to commission a piece for the Building Dedication, she was the natural choice for a composer. Fortunately, she was able to fit us into her very busy schedule.
The piece itself begins with a dreamy, improvisatory section on the piano, progresses into a “Salvation Army”-style hymn and then opens up into full-out Gospel. It’s a real barn-burner, and the musicians and I are having a great time working on it. At the premiere, we’ll have players from the Folk and Jazz groups and singers from Women’s Chorus and Chalice Choir.
The words were written by the Rev. Tony Larson for his “UU Revival Meetings” of the late 1970s – early ’80s. Elizabeth adapted the words to fit our situation (and to be a little more sing-able). It reminds us that, even though we are justifiably proud of the work that went into our new building, the church itself is the people. Here’s the first verse and chorus:
Oh, my church is built of neither brick nor stone,
For it’s love that’s the spirit of this church.
It’s a shelter fashioned from our hearts alone,
Yes, it’s love that’s the spirit of this church.
Oh, it’s love,
Yes, it’s love,
Yes, it’s love that’s the spirit of this church (oh yes!)
Not the walls or steeple but a gathered people is what makes up the spirit of this church.
I think you’re going to love this piece as much as we (the musicians) do.
-L.H. Brown, Director of Music
Hymn of the Month: "Just as Long as I Have Breath"Each month, Senior Minister Rev. Kathryn A. Bert and Director of Music L.H. Brown select a hymn of the month that is suited to the liturgical theme and that will add to the body of music at UU Lansing. For October’s liturgical theme of death, they’ve chosen “Just as Long as I Have Breath,” #6 in Singing the Living Tradition (the gray hymnal). The words, written in 1981 by Alicia S. Carpenter, affirm our commitment to life and action so that we will have no regrets when life is over. They are set to the mid-17th century tune “Nicht so traurig” by Johann G. Ebeling.
UU Lansing Music Program
|Lia Wang, staff pianist|
The Music Committee is charged with supporting the music director, advocating for the music program, and working with the music director, minister, and church leadership to enhance and develop the music ministry of the church as it deepens and enriches congregational life. Our new committee members joined us while we were between buildings, and the committee is working hard to plan and execute the music events for this upcoming program year. Our members are Margaret Holmes-Rovner, chair; Mary Turner; Randy Scott; Bruce Howard; and Maureen McDonough.
Folk and Jazz Jam Sessions
Church member Randy Scott organizes monthly jam sessions for folk and jazz musicians. These are friendly get-togethers for the purpose of fellowship and music-making, not rehearsal; participants do not need to commit to performances at church.
The jazz session is held on the first Tuesday of every month from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. The folk session is the third Tuesday at the same time. All jam sessions are held at a member’s home. For more information, including where this month’s sessions will be held, contact Randy Scott, Director of Music L.H. Brown, or any member of the Music Committee.