Jazz and worship — a winning combination
Our church’s Jazz Sunday, the final Sunday before Lent, never disappoints and the worship service on Feb. 23 was the best example of how true this is.
Ever since 2007, our church’s Steven Bither has organized a group of his musically superb friends to play Mardi Gras-style music throughout the Sunday service before Ash Wednesday. This year the group included Peter Dunphy on banjo, Peter Lord on sax, Tom Wilbur on sousaphone, Judge Paul Aranson on drums, Ray Sapperstein on trumpet, Barry Daniels on clarinet, Tyler Rodenberger on guitar, and Stephen on piano.
The jazz began as soon as the first member of the congregation entered the sanctuary and didn’t end until Stephen’s group played a rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In”. In between, the choir joined in while the music played on with “O Happy Days”, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”, and “Amazing Grace”. There was foot-tapping, hand-clapping, and even some dancing in the aisles throughout.
In addition to leading the choir, Faith York delivered both the Children’s Story and sermon, both of which focused on “the power of possibilities” and “never think you can’t do something”.
Faith used the illustrations of “the great joy of making music” and the art of improvising jazz as examples of trusting in the decisions you make and always moving forward with confidence. “I truly believe this is the way God wants us to live,” Faith told the congregation. It was a powerful message.
After the service, everyone was treated to a pancake brunch, prepared and served by a team of volunteers, led by Steve Hill.
More images of Jazz Sunday 2020: