Jazz Sunday 2023

On this final Sunday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, in a church Pastor Kathleen Decker-Szakas referred to as “New Orleans North”, the Cape UMC rocked to the sounds, vibrancy, and uplifting spirit of Jazz Sunday.

A tradition of the church since 2007, Stephen Bither and a talented group of his musical friends filled the sanctuary with Mardi Gras-style music from start to finish. With hand-clapping and arm-waving reactions in the pews to each strain of jazz, one member of the band afterward said they all could feel a wave of spirited energy wash over them.

It was the worship of music everyone could feel and embrace.

Performing with Stephen Bither on piano were Paul Aranson on drums, Jay Young on bass, Peter Lord on sax, Ray Saperstein on cornet, Barry Daniels on clarinet, and Peter Dunphy on banjo.

And if that wasn’t enough to create images and sounds of the best Bourbon Street celebrations, Faith York and the choir added their own musical magic. Faith’s one solo was spell-binding.

The service’s sermon was delivered by the Honorable Paul Aranson, Cumberland County Probate Judge, but for this Jazz Sunday, he was the band’s drummer. Paul, who is Jewish, delivered a thought-provoking message of similarities between the teachings of the Torah and Christianity and posed the question, “How are we to feel God’s presence?”. In conclusion he said, “As we enter this spring, let us create our own Holy Space”.

Honorable Paul Aranson

A pancake breakfast followed the service, prepared by Bruce and Sue Lind, Carol Haider, and Steve Hill. Additional help was provided by Lili and Pat Acheson, Jean Meyer, Linda and Duane Wakefield, and Bob and Linda Webster.

Kitchen Crew Bruce and Sue Lind, Steve Hill, Jean Meyer, Lili and Pat Acheson, and Carol Haider

Only 50 weeks to the 2023 Jazz Sunday — February 14, 2024!

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