N♪tes from the Larry Patton Music Arts Suite:

Jennifer Klein Salyer
Jennifer Klein Salyer Director Of Worship Arts music@galvpres.net 409-762-8638
June 1, 2017
Dear Friends,
Summer is upon us. You will note some changes in worship over the next few months.
You’ve probably already noticed the Choir has ceased wearing robes during May. The anticipated reconstruction of our A/C system in the Sanctuary and Chapel will require some construction access through the Music Arts Suite. To that end, we’ve stored our robes and music to be free of sheetrock dust and other construction debris. Robes will return in the Fall.
The Chancel Choir will conclude its worship leadership and take a summer hiatus after the June 4th (Pentecost) service. There will be a few occasions during the summer for you to be a part of choral leadership of worship. Please note well the following dates:
June 18: MEN’S chorus, conducted by John Allums. In honor of Father’s Day, we’re calling all men to meet up at 10am in the Sanctuary to learn two pieces to sing in worship that day. These are settings of “Amazing Grace” and “Standin’ On the Promises.” You will be able to sit with your families for worship, other than when you are singing.
July 16: SUMMER choir will lead worship. Calling all voices who are interested in singing a fun spiritual to join our chancel choir members to sing “New Born Again,” a wonderful, toe-tapping song that is sure to please. We will meet at 10am in the Sanctuary to learn the piece for worship.
August 20: SUMMER choir will lead worship, singing two pieces “Behold the Goodness of Our Lord,” and “Lord, Make Us Worthy.” Again, any singers who would like to join up with the chancel choir members at 10am in the Sanctuary are welcome to learn these pieces.
The Chancel Ensemble will lead worship on June 11, July 2, and August 6.
Worship on the remainder of our summer Sundays will include special musicians, with flute, piano, guitar, vocal solos or ensembles, and our VBS children.
Please note, also, the The Houston Children’s Chorus will return to bless us and our guests with a concert on Sunday, June 11 at 5:00pm in the Sanctuary. You will not want to miss this special and favorite event. Bring a friend and let’s pack the house. Admission is free. This concert is a kick-off to the HCC Galveston Summer Music Funshop, and culminates with a summer pops concert at The Grand 1894 Opera Houston Sunday, June 18 at 5:00pm. If you have a child, grandchild, neighbor child, etc., who might be interested in participating in the week-long music and fun camp with members of the HCC, please direct them to the HCC website for details or click here: http://houstonchildren.org/galveston-summer-music-funshop/.
Looking forward to a musical summer with you. And bring a friend to worship!!
Blessings

May 1, 2017

Dear Friends,
So, here we go a-Maying.
Poet Robert Herrick describes the pleasures of springtime in his poem “Corinna’s Going A-Maying.” It is, of sorts, a love song. It’s May Day, and the speaker entices his young love to get out of bed and get outside and enjoy the world – to seize the day – because you’ll be dead before you know it.
Cheery, huh?
Well, perhaps we should heed Herrick’s advice and get a-Maying ourselves! In this Eastertide (the period from Easter until Pentecost), we are in the midst of an amazing love song. It is a love made manifest by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins. It is a love complete by Christ’s resurrection and promise of life eternal. The earth springs forth with reminders of new life – what once appeared dead is new and young and vibrant again.
The blessings of Eastertide to you!
This month, there will be some new music and some old favorites.
On May 7, the Evening Bells will play in worship before taking a break for the summer months. Also, that Sunday, our Psalter will be sung instead of spoken. It is a wonderful setting of the 23rd Psalm that appears in our hymnal.
Come “Fly Away” with the Chancel Ensemble on May 14 during Gathering Music (singing “I’ll Fly Away”) and reflect on an old favorite hymn, “His Eye is On the Sparrow.”
The Chancel Choir will offer an old favorite anthem in worship on May 21, singing “In This Very Room,” and new favorite festive piece on May 28 with a rousing rendition of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty!”
June 4 (Pentecost) will be the last worship service before the Worship Arts program enters summer mode. During the summer, the Chancel Ensemble will lead a few services, as will the Summer Choir. We will also have guest musicians to enhance our worship experience.
Our first Summer Choir will be a Men’s Chorus on June 18, as part of Father’s Day celebrations. Calling All Men!! Come in the sanctuary at 10am on June 18 and learn two arrangements of familiar hymns: “Amazing Grace” and “Standing on the Promises.” John Allums will conduct the Men’s Chorus.
So, come away, come away with me. Let us go a-Maying!
Blessings!
March 1, 2017
Dear Friends,
It seems like I just finished putting away the Christmas decorations, and already we are in Lent.
I instruct the preschoolers I teach that both Advent and Lent are times of waiting, and that the color of waiting is purple. We also talk about the fact that we “hide” our Hallelujahs during Lent and bring them back out again at Easter. But there are finer nuances between these two periods of waiting that are mostly lost on a 4-year-old.
For one, I think the preparation that comes in the waiting is very different between the two seasons. In Advent, there is anticipation – the expectancy of the entering into the world of the Christ King. The time is joy-filled and often punctuated by times of togetherness. We prepare by seeking Light, by opening our hearts to the amazing promise of life in the Kingship of Christ. We even add light each week as we move through Advent, until the ultimate light is lit: the light that represents Christ’s birth into a dark and needy world.
But Lent takes us deep into the darkness. The waiting of Lent is a time of preparation. It is a time of repentance; a time when we see how our own sinful ways become the nails that pierce Christ’s hands. It is a time for solitude and reflection, but, always with the knowledge that our journey into darkness does not end at the cross, but at the empty tomb! We must, however, go through the darkness to fully experience the brightest light – that which shines on us as a resurrection people.
I encourage you to take on the fullness of Lent. Take time for introspection. Take time for repentance. Sit in the darkness. And then, experience the bright and joyous ringing of Hallelujahs on Easter morning!
Please mark your calendars for the special worship services that will be upcoming this Spring: Wednesday, March 1st at 6pm will be our Ash Wednesday service with special music featuring Jennifer Salyer on guitar and Lesley Sommer on clarinet. We will continue our Holy Week Services Maundy Thursday (April 13th at 6pm, dinner, communion & special music) and Good Friday (April 14th at 7pm – a Lenten cantata performed by the Choir and guest cellist).
Finally, a note about the Worship Arts Ministry: I have prepared a brief survey through which I hope to receive your valuable feedback on how the Worship Arts Ministry affects worship. This survey will be distributed to church members via e-mail. Please be sure to take a few moments to complete this informative tool.
Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer
Director of Worship Arts

 

Feb. 1, 2017
Dear Friends,

When the decision was made to have a large celebration for FPC’s 175th, I began looking for anthems to commemorate the occasion. At the same time, we were then hopeful that the dedication of Knox Chapel would be happening not long after the 175th celebration, so I selected a musical piece to commemorate that special occasion, too. The Choir began practicing it and Scott Weaver pulled out his trumpet and began learning the accompaniment part. Well, you know the rest of the story. It has taken the patience of Job, but we at long last have a date certain for the dedication of Knox Chapel: February 5th. (Scott was convinced I was behind the delay, just to force him to keep practicing his trumpet!!)
Not only will the vibrant anthem “From Living Stones” celebrate the dedication of Knox Chapel, but also it will gloriously recognize our lively stone, Retta Lou Weber, in whose memory her family donated the magnificent piano for Knox Chapel. Among her numerous contributions to the life and congregation of First Presbyterian Church, perhaps her voice raised in praise as a member of the Choir for more than 80 years is one for which Retta Lou is most known. What a delight that her legacy of music will live on for years and years to come through the memorial piano, which too will be dedicated on February 5th.
Other music of note for February is an Evening Bells presentation of an arrangement of “How Firm a Foundation” on February 19th during worship.
Please mark your calendars for the special worship services that will be upcoming this Spring: Wednesday, March 1st at 6pm will be our Ash Wednesday service with special music featuring Jennifer Salyer on guitar and Lesley Sommer on clarinet. We will continue our Holy Week Services Maundy Thursday (April 13th at 6pm, dinner, communion & special music) and Good Friday (April 14th at 7pm – a Lenten cantata performed by the Choir and guest cellist).
Finally, due to technical difficulties, my January column did not timely make the Beacon. So, I will leave you with a snippet from that article.
With the beginning of a new year, many of us prepare to do things differently: to exercise more or watch our diets more carefully or make more time with family or to get back to church more often. Generally, the new year is filled with our personal promises to make ourselves “better.” And then, there’s the inevitable self-loathing when we break our promises or fall short of our goals.
So, perhaps the challenge shouldn’t be to try to make ourselves better. Instead, perhaps the preparation we should be undergoing is to make the lives of others better, through how we love and nurture and pray for one another, and by reconnecting to one another in our community of faith. It is this preparation that prepares us for the coming again of Christ.
If you’ve ever wanted to see the view from the choir loft, we have a space for you (and I know we have more singers out there, because I heard you when you serenaded me for my birthday … thank you).
My wish for you in this new year is that your life is infused with God’s deep peace. “I have God before me, Jesus beside me, the Holy Spirit within me, and angels around me. Whom or what shall I fear?”
Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer
Director of Worship Arts
December 1, 2016
Dear Friends,
     Greetings to you and Glad Tidings! (Seriously, how often do we get to say “glad tidings”? And how would we respond to someone who spoke this way in regular conversation?)
     It’s such a delight to be rehearsing Advent and Christmas songs with the church’s musical groups, as currently, I’m up to Good Friday in my music planning, and I was starting to get a little down spending so much time focused on Christ’s death. So, Joy to the World!! The Lord is Come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing.
     What a wonderful promise to know that our God Is. Right here, in the midst of year-end flurries, God Is. In war-torn nations, God Is. In grief over death of a loved one or a relationship, God Is. In political divide, God Is. In racial tensions, God Is. In the joyous expectation of a child at Christmas, God Is. No matter where we find ourselves emotionally in this holiday season, we have the promise that God Is with us, that the Lord IS come into our lives, and we must simply allow room in hearts to experience the joy and comfort and peace and understanding that our Lord brings.
     As we enter Advent and Christmastime, we have many opportunities to share and receive such Joy! I hope you will be present in worship with us this season and experience the hope that comes from waiting anew, even though we know the rest of the story. The choir will sing two pieces that were part of the repertoire for the European tour, including an absolutely hauntingly beautiful piece, “Creation Will Be at Peace,” that will be in worship on December 4. The annual Festival for Advent happens December 11. The tradition of the children’s pageant continues, but the morning worship is infused with new music and more youth involvement. Also, the Evening Bells will join forces with flute, drum, tambourine, and cymbals for a rousing piece to begin worship. Music on December 18 offers an introspective look at Christmas as we conclude our time of Advent. The “family friendly” 4:00 Christmas Eve service will focus on lessons and carols, and at the candlelight 7:00 service, the Chancel Choir and Chancel Ensemble will lead music. Special music will be offered at the 10:00am Christmas morning worship, and on New Year’s Day, the Chancel Choir will sing a wonderful new anthem to the familiar tune of Auld Lang Syne. We conclude worship celebrating the 177th birthday of our church.
     Come and worship, and let earth receive her King!
Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer
November 2016

Dear Friends,

The newest piece of art hanging on the wall in my office is a pictograph created on my computer by our daughter after she’d finished her homework and while she waited for me to conclude choir rehearsal. The pictures convey some of her favorite things and places (e.g., our house, the dog, our family). I’ve hung it beneath the watercolor painting of a stained glass cross she created for me while she waited for me to finish a project.
So, my first thought is, “My! She has to wait on me a lot!” That one, I suppose, is self-explanatory. The second thought, however, is more convoluted. As I think about this new month of November, I think about celebrating my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. Like the pictograph depicts, I am thankful for the many blessings found in family and close relationships, for the roof over our heads and the general sense of peace and security we enjoy. I know that at any moment, those blessings can change. But above all, I am thankful for the Cross, for a God who loves me so dearly that He claimed the ultimate sacrifice to be with me for eternity. Late in October, my daily devotional shared this little gem in my morning reading: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember that all good things – your possessions, your family and friends, your health and abilities, your time – are gifts from Me. Instead of feeling entitled to all these blessings, respond to them with gratitude. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand!”
Worship in November is filled with celebration: On November 6th, we join in communion with the saints who’ve gone before as we recognize All Saints Day. November 20th is Christ the King Sunday, our glorious conclusion to our liturgical year, and on November 27th, our Christian calendar begins anew with Advent and the preparation and hope of the Christ Child.
I pray that you will join with me in this season of thankfulness, naming those things in your life that bless you, honoring the God who made them all possible, and preparing your hearts anew for the Hope of the World.
Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer

September 30, 2016

Dear Friends,
      Whether it feels like it outside or not, Fall is here, and with that comes some exciting times in the Worship Arts Ministry.
     Evening Bells resumed rehearsals in September and are well underway perfecting a piece to be offered in worship in October. This piece will be not only fun to listen to but also exciting to watch, as it is entirely played using mallets instead of traditional ringing. The bells remain on the table, and the ringers strike the bells with special mallets, much like a xylophone or marimba player would strike the bars on his instrument.
     The Chancel Choir enjoyed a wonderful weekend retreat last month at the nearby but oh-so-far away Christian Renewal Center in Dickinson. This little gem in the woods on the bayou provided a perfect place for new and returning choir members to fellowship, worship, and, of course, learn lots of new music. Included in the music we read through were a couple of pieces our singers on the European tour were privileged to sing in London cathedrals and the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. You are sure to be blessed by these songs which will sound in worship the first two Sundays in Advent.
      October ushers in World Communion Sunday, special music with flute (Shellie Wolf) and cello (Cole Kaestner), a beautiful choral piece that incorporates Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” the Evening Bells sharing “Percussive Praise,” and Reformation Sunday.
      Then we will blink, and be into Advent the weekend of Thanksgiving. Mark your calendars for the Festival for Advent on December 11, and note well that we will have two worship services on Christmas Eve (a Saturday), a 10:00am worship service on Christmas Day (a Sunday), and regular worship on New Year’s Day.
Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer
Director of Worship Arts
August 31, 2016
Dear Friends,
     My siblings and I have vivid memories of the back-to-school ritual in our household. After trying on everything in our closets, Mom would make a list of the had-to-have items and we’d head to J.C. Penney for back-to-school clothes. (School supplies came from Ben Franklin five and dime store, but not until after the first day of school when the lists were distributed.) And by far the strongest memory for me was Labor Day weekend. Growing up in Texas, it was still hot and the days long. The kids would be outside, grabbing the last weekend of summertime fun, and my sweet, selfless mother would be inside a dark paneled living room, with the Jerry Lewis Telethon on the television, standing at the ironing board pressing what must have been hundreds of pieces of clothes for Dad and my siblings and me, to get us all prepared for the new [school] year. I can still smell the spray starch and feel the humidity from that steam iron. I’m as sappy about traditions as the next gal, but I can honestly say, those are not exciting memories. The juxtaposition of carefree outdoor summer fun with that dank, dark living room and a crying Jerry Lewis (and therefore a sometimes crying Mom) colored my back-to-school memories. (It also impacted the clothes I buy. Rarely do I wear anything that requires pressing!)
     So, it pleases me that our congregation has joined many others in celebrating back-to-school in an exciting and uplifting way. We celebrate the return to the academic school year by blessing the backpacks and those who wear them, and honoring our teachers and school employees. And we kick-off the return to our church school year with Rally Day, where, as the definition suggests, we “recall to order.” What a wonderful recall to order we will have, with a potluck brunch, prayers for the new school year already underway, and the return of all of our volunteer worship musicians to worship leadership!
     September ushers in some new music by the Chancel Choir and some new faces in the Choir, special guest musicians on September 18th while our group is away on Retreat, the return of Evening Bells practice, meaningful Gathering Music by the Chancel Ensemble, and an organ recital performed by Ruben Rincon, Jr. on Sunday, September 25th at 2:00.
     Rally is also defined as “coming together for a common purpose.” How fortunate we are that every Sunday is Rally Day, as we freely join together to worship and glorify God.
Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer
Director of Worship Arts
July 31, 2016
Dear Friends –
As I write this, “Camp Discovery”, our Vacation Bible School, is in full swing. I find it such a privilege to lead the singing portion of VBS and to watch how music can transform Bible stories for children. In addition to the music that is part of the pre-designed curriculum, I am supplementing with what I’m calling “campfire songs.” These are songs we sit down and sing accompanied by my guitar, much like we’d do around a real campfire.On the first day of VBS, the Bible story was about David and Goliath. My campfire song for that day is called “Only a Boy Named David.” It tells the story of David, his sling, how he prayed and sang to God, of the brook and the 5 stones he took, of the 1 stone going into the sling and up into the air and of the giant tumbling down. Certainly it’s fun to sing. But it makes a connection to the kids as they remember all of the parts of that beloved Bible story.Many of you know that as I was leaving the practice of law, I spent time in silent retreat in the desert. Every time I would open my Bible to spend quiet time in the Word, there would be music. No matter the verse I read, it seemed I knew a hymn or a praise song or an anthem or a master work or a campfire song that had already introduced the passage to me musically. When I would go for a walk, the cadence of my feet and the rhythm of my breathing would suggest a snippet of a song that would stick with me, over and over, like an ear worm for the entirety of my walk. I was so intent on listening for God that I became a bit annoyed by the music, and I shouted out to God, “Stop this music so I can HEAR you!” And I heard God quietly respond: “I’m singing as loud as I can.” That’s when I realized how much the Word was a part of my life and being – the Word, my soundtrack.So, as I watch the Bible come to life musically for these children at VBS, I am awed by all the ways God seeks to speak to us, and I am so grateful for those who are anointed to put the Word to music.It pleases me to have the Chancel Choir and Chancel Ensemble return to worship at the end of August. Rally Day is August 28th, and following our morning brunch, you will find the return of pre-service Gathering Music at 10:45 and a full accompaniment of voices raised in worship leadership at 11:00. I hope you are enjoying the special music each week this summer that highlights the breadth and depth of talent in our congregation.Please also note, our beloved Ruben Rincon, Jr. will be performing an organ recital at the church on Sunday, September 25th at 2:00. Save that date now, because you will definitely be blessed by his talent.Blessings,
Jennifer Salyer
July 2016
Dear Friends –
Recently, I had the privilege of singing hymns to our beloved Retta Lou Weber while she was under the palliative care of hospice. Retta Lou has been in our congregation since her childhood, and led in our music program most of that time. On many occasions, I found myself caught up in watching Retta Lou sing hymns. She knew them all. By heart. She would throw her head back and sing without once glancing at the music. Her eyes would sparkle, her face seemed to glow, and I found myself transported, as if I was witnessing an angel singing to God’s glory. While she wasn’t awake when I sang some old hymns by her bedside, I’m convinced that I saw a change in her face, a softness coming over her, including that upturned smile she’d get when she sang. In honor of Retta Lou, and in conjunction with Rev. Wolf’s upcoming summer sermon series on individual hymns, I’d like to explore the history of hymnody here briefly.
Prior to the Reformation in the 16th Century, the music of the early Christian church consisted of plainsong hymns that were sung in Latin by monks and were a very important part of monastic liturgy. Plainsong is chant-like, mostly mono-tonal, unaccompanied singing of scripture. The length of the phrases and shape of each line directly related to the scripture being sung and the words being emphasized.
At the time of the Reformation, reformers wanted the liturgy to be accessible to the people and sought to have the Bible and the hymnody written in the vernacular, capable of being understood, read and sung by the people. The early reformation hymns introduced metrical versions of the psalms, where the psalms where given a rhyme and rhythm and verse structure. The early hymns of the Reformation were distinctly based in scripture, but much more “singable.” Coupled with the introduction of printing, the Reformation, led by Martin Luther, introduced a major development in hymnody, opening the way for composers such as Bach to produce his famous harmonizations of the German Chorales.
Then, Isaac Watts began the reform of congregational singing in England, writing many hymns we still sing today (e.g., “Joy to the World” and “O God Our Help in Ages Past”). Watts’hymns started from the principle that texts should express the religious feelings of the people, rather than being strictly scripturally based. On the heels of Watts, we find John and Charles Wesley who, early in the 18th Century, set out to change worshipers’ views of hymnody. The Wesley brothers thought that both the words and the music of the hymns should be written to stir the congregation and reinforce the religious emotions felt by the worshipers. Hymns became the central feature in early Methodist worship, and congregations responded with vigor and enthusiasm. Methodism attracted many away from the established church because of the music.
Anglican liturgy soon followed suit of the Methodists, with Methodist-style hymnody being “imposed” on congregations, opening the floodgates to all manner of hymns being included in worship. Also, in 1861 Hymns of Ancient and Modern was published, a collection of the very best of the many traditions of hymnody. By 1912, it had sold a staggering sixty million copies, and it’s still in print today.
Hymns mean a great deal to many people. Even today, there is much dialogue in churches about whether “traditional”versus “contemporary” hymns are more appropriate in worship. We must remember, though, that our “traditional”hymns today were the cutting-edge, touchy-feely hymns of history, playing on the religious “feel good” factor rather than being tied to scripture.
In my humble opinion, we have a place for all of it in our worship: the plainsong chant of scriptures in Latin, the early and later Reformation hymns, and the hymns penned today in a more contemporary fashion. Collectively, they speak to our evolving understanding of our relationship to God, and God’s unwavering, inalterable love and compassion for his creation.
Blessings,
Jennifer Klein Salyer
Director of Worship Arts
May 31. 2016
Dear Friends –
Things are going to look (and sound) different in worship this summer.
Our musicians will enjoy a few months of well-deserved rest and will return to worship leadership on Rally Day, August 28th. Over the summer months, we will take to heart Paul’s words to the Colossians when he wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
We will sing familiar hymns with a new sense of understanding as Rev. Wolf preaches a summer sermon series on hymns. We will become more familiar with the wonderful sounds of our organ as Ruben Rincon will play the offertory in addition to the prelude and postlude each week. Guest musicians (both instrumentalists and vocalists) will be featured each week as special music. The children of VBS will share the music they will learn at the end of July. Gathering music will take a hiatus over the summer as well.
A few things of note:
The Houston Children’s Choir will treat us to a wonderful concert on Sunday, June 5th at 6:00pm in the Sanctuary. This is a free concert and is sure to be enjoyed by listeners of all ages. Please plan on supporting these hard-working youngsters and giving them a big Galveston welcome as they kick off their week-long music workshop on the Island. And bring a friend!
Several FPC “ambassadors” (singing and non-singing) will depart at the end of the month for the long-awaited American Salute tour to Europe. The singers will join other singers from around the country to perform sacred music in cathedrals in London and a mass patriotic concert on American Independence Day at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. Please keep these members of your church family in your prayers throughout our travels.
If you’ve ever (or never) given thought to singing in the choir, I encourage you to give it BIGGER thought! We have had some attrition due to folks moving on, and have I got a gorgeous red robe for you! I stand in front of you every Sunday and listen to you sing, so I know I’ve got more singers out there. The choir will have a retreat in September where we will look more closely at the music that awaits us and spend some time in fellowship. There is room for you!
Blessings
April 29, 2016
Today I’d like you to travel back in time with me as I share something very personal.
     About nine years ago from my writing this, I looked like I do in this picture. David and I were soon to welcome our beloved daughter into the world.
And when she came, I had visits from church members, and flowers, and food! Oh, the wonderful food that came in to feed us! Real food, and spiritual food, from our loving church family. Six days later, I had a medical complication that I almost didn’t survive. And there you were again, with concern, and love and support.
      You have babysat our daughter. You have driven me to doctor appointments when I was unable to drive myself. You have taught our daughter about Christ and prayed for her and supported her as she played the piano or sold lemonade or fundraised for school. You have remembered our birthdays and anniversary. You have nurtured our family as we grieved the loss of David’s parents. You have laughed with us, cried with us, fellowshipped with us, made music with us.
      There was a time, long ago when Cadee was very little, when David and I wondered if Cadee would be better served by being a part of a larger church experience — one that had a larger children’s ministry program with more children her age and more activities. Then Ike hit. Our family worshipped that first Sunday with my parents in the church outside of Dallas in which I grew up. It’s changed a lot over the years, and many of the members I knew have died or moved on. Yet those who remain still remember me as little “Jenny,” and they praised God for our safety from the storm and cried with us for the loss and devastation to the Island and our church and work and home. (You might remember they even donated an organ to our congregation to serve us after Ike until we started the restoration and rebuilding of our pipe organ.)
      It was then that I really recognized The Church. Not the building or the contents. Not the size of the budget or programs offered. Not the music or the preaching. Not the number of people in worship attendance or the number of people my age or my husband’s age or our daughter’s age. It’s you. And just as I am still a cherished child of Woodhaven Presbyterian Church, I know that, no matter what path her life takes, our daughter will return to First Presbyterian Church Galveston as an adult and will still be seen by you as a child of this church.
      A friend recently said to me, “We go to church to worship God, not to _______.” Fill in the blank with what you think is your need. Hear traditional music. or Hear contemporary music. or Hear a sermon that really speaks to me. or _____________.
 This is Church for me:
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