Saturday, December 24, 2005

Staff Christmas Party

Kenton is "red-eye-man!"

We had a great time at the Mitchell's at our Chapel music staff Christmas party. (We missed you, Mary!) It was also a little gift exchange and a farewell to our family. I think it was Jim who suggested the menu oughta be chili and wings in honor of my favorite foods. Yikes! As I told my friends, I like both menu items, but I've never had them together!

A good time was had by all, except for possibly the hamster that got loose from his cage in a room full of little kids. Lindsey enjoyed holding it. She seems to like little creatures.

A Nice Gift

This huge picture set in a large frame was give to me from the Green WT and rhythm players at our Christmas party. This is awesome! As Jason said, it will go in my new office where I'll always be reminded of these great friends. Thanks to Lisa and Scott for hosting this party at their house! It was a lot of fun to be all together one more time. I took far more pictures than I've posted here, but since most of the ones I took have me in them, I decided not to put them on the web. The internet already has enough pollution!

I have so many great memories that include the people at this gathering. Far too many to count. As I said in a more public fashion. Whatever alleged influence or impact I may have had in the lives of these dear people, their impact on me and my life is exponentially greater! I'm only one person and there are so many of them!

To any of you WT folks who may be reading this, thank you for this picture, which I'll proudly take with me, and hang on my new office wall, and thank you for all that you are, and all that you've meant to me and my family in the 8 plus years we've been at The Chapel! We love you and we'll miss you!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Concerts

The next few posts will feature lots of pictures. You'll be linked to more pictures like these at flickr. For those of you who are the subject of these pictures, thanks for enduring the spontaneity of the sudden camera in your face and the flash going off shortly thereafter. I wanted to take pictures of as many friends as possible. I don't want to forget any of you! Click here to see a small album of concert pictures.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Things I'll Miss

After living in the NE Ohio area for the last eleven and a half years, and after being at The Chapel for the last 8 and a half, there are plenty of memories and plenty of things I'm going to miss. I know I'm going to leave people out, but here are some stream-of-consciousness, random thoughts kind of things I know I'm going to miss as well as some fond memories.

The Region

  • Snow from Dec-April (no, really)
  • Jacob's Field
  • Hartville Hardware
  • Our house
  • Our yard
  • The Summit County Library
  • The Akron Zoo
  • Bike riding and kite flying at the Hartville Marketplace parking lot
The Chapel
  • The privilege of playing on a Steinway D every week
  • A cell phone
  • The "Commander"
  • The Green Campus
  • The walking trail at the Green Campus
  • Tuesday lunch-- Not necessarily the meetings that follow
  • My E-5's
  • Macs everywhere
  • A do-do
  • Services at Blossom
  • Services at Canal Park
  • The "tape guys"
Worship Team-Green
  • Hearing the refrain of my arrangement of "Blessed Assurance"
  • Hanchey's free pre-releases
  • Leading with all their heart(s)
  • Becky's baby's birth
  • The next Hufstetler duet
  • Maureen's passionate prayers
  • The full recovery of Kimmy
  • The return of Kimmy
  • Feeling safe around Deb L
  • Hanchey's passing 7ths
  • Another movie with Jason
  • Another party with Jason
  • The generosity shown towad Paul and Dena
  • The generosity shown toward Daniel and Kim
  • A long e-mail from Lebo
  • A short e-mail from Lebo
Worship Team-Akron
  • Crashing breakfast with Carol, Nancy, Vicki, and Elisa
  • Trying to be the first to address the other as "dude" with Dave and Kirsten
  • Vicki: "I hate that Dr. Beat thing."
  • Vicki: "I Love Dr. Beat."
  • Vicki: "But that's not what they do on the recording..."
  • Vicki's teeth
  • Three words: Gospel Talent Show
  • White elephant exchanges
  • Vicki: "are your nuts frozen?"
  • My surprise 30th birthday party at Guy and Julie's
  • The generosity shown toward Jeff Yang
  • The generosity shown toward the Gibsons
Rhythm Section-Green

  • Any lick Gibson plays on any instrument
  • The faces Raybould makes when he solos
  • A ripping B-3 gliss from Keel
  • Andrea on the triangle: "My lips will praise you...[ding]"
  • Glen's empassioned drum fills
  • Rob singing away as he plays
  • Andrea's careful placement of the toys
  • Andrea's careful placement of the kick
  • Dave shouting on the platform because he has his headphones on
Rhythm Section-Akron
  • Tritone subs with Fred on bass
  • Frank's "a-one, two, three, hike...."
  • Tommy's Mexican joke in Azteca
  • Jeff Johnson singing girl notes
  • Tommy: "Mexican food is all the same, it's just folded different..."

  • Finishing Kenton's sentences and vers-visa
  • Emily's Powerpoint productions
  • Zuercher's approach to singing
  • Zuercher's approach to mixing
  • Zuercher's approach to people
  • Donna and Karan being a "button-push" away
  • Jim's association of any present-day song to an 80's song
  • Karan: "K-O"
  • The slightly offset streaming of Rush or Indian's radio between Kober's computer and mine
  • Kober's "lyrics-on-the-spot"
  • Donna's chickens
  • Jim and Kenton: Ideation--conflict ensues
  • Businessman's specials at the Jake with Kober
  • Kober: "I can't find the handles..."
Chapel People
  • Chinese with Tuck
  • Erica & Elissa and a bag of Doritos
  • The fabulous kid's staff and programming
  • Wings with Guy and Daniel
  • Wings with Paul followed by Lord of the Rings or Star Wars
  • Dennis and "Live bait"
  • Home opener with Kober, Stankiewicz, Keel, Zuercher
  • Playmates of our kids: Logan, Emma, Abbey, Ben, Olivia
  • Bible studies with Guthrie, Nime, Salmons
  • Russ Tinkham's humor
  • Russ Tinkham's tuba playing
  • Russ Tinkham's bass playing
Chapel Staff
  • Smitty's persona, especially in a staff meeting
  • Any conversation with Castelli
  • Staff Christmas lunches
  • KL's passion for the cross
  • KL's passion for the lost
  • Larry's awesome prayers
  • The master of segues, Todd McKenney
  • Barrett's way-bigger-than-he-needs office
  • KL's VM greeting: "Knute Larsonnnnn, leave a message."
  • Barb: "pastor...."
  • The intern video(s) "If I had 25 million dollars...."
  • CJ and Jen's baby's birth
The Y
  • The great home school gym programs
  • Working out with Dave, Marty, Robert, Cliff, John...
  • Walking on a treadmill next to Shari
  • Watching the kids learn to swim
  • The zero-depth pool
Area People
  • Stu Freedman--Our pianos were always so well taken care of
  • John and Darla English--Darla frantically helping me find the next chart
  • Dave Spondike-The most educated bass player I've ever known
  • Tim Coyne-learning standards and my first real jazz gigs
  • Larry Dickerhoff--Nixon conspiracy theroist and Kent State shooting stories
  • Don and Brenda Wise--our GREAT neighbors
  • Chuck M's wit
  • Carla's vocal improv
  • Tom Hamilton "a swing and a drive...."
  • Paul Braden

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A New Chapter

Many of you reading this already know of our decision to join a ministry at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Those of you who go to The Chapel and especially those of you who serve along side me have probably been blindsided. I understand the shock--we wanted to keep it quiet for as long as possible.

I want to say to all of you that this was by far the most difficult, heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching decision we've ever had to make. We've been at The Chapel since May of 1997 and really have loved it here. I've grown so much because of all of the staff I've worked with over the years and also because of the great volunteers who have become such dear friends. Only the Lord's leading could possibly convince us to uproot our family, sever our ties with so many, leave everything we know and everything we're comfortable with to go to a "great unknown." Just the other day Janet and I sat in our family room and asked each other "Why are we doing this again?"

I think people who work together in music have it harder. I think people who work together in church music have it harder yet. There's something transcending about putting a bunch of people in a room and making sweet music together. It's invigorating! I love it! It's been so much fun to create with my friends at The Chapel over the years, and I'm going to miss that tie. But larger than that is the worship leading aspect of what we do. This sweet community that is so strong because of the music is drawn even closer because of the unity found in Christ. When we're of one musical mind and one mind in purpose and vision--to lead in worship, the depth grows even greater--and this is what we get week after week, year after year. The layers are great-- but they're very hard to willingly divorce oneself from. A significant byproduct of all this is the rich friendship that develops. When I was in college, I remember how the music people did everything together. I think part of the reason for that were the connections that we all shared musically in all our required ensemble work. We connected on many levels, and musicians who are reading this understand exactly what I'm writing about.

That which seems so abstract as I write this is so tangible in the moment. It was so real at our concert last night when we hit some nice musical grooves. (This is our God, espeically, Rick!) It was great this morning as well as we connected with the congregation and led together. Good musicians can make music anywhere, but making music and leading with all of The Chapel volunteers is what I will miss so much.

The staff is another very important aspect of my Chapel experience. Emily and Kenton are so great to work with and we have been recently hitting our stride together as a team, each functioning well in our own roll. The whole music staff is great at The Chapel. Anyone coming in to fill my spot will be so spoiled with such great talent and competence, such great creativity and passion for what they do. Just as Derrak now knows, it is hard to replace that camaraderie. It's been such a privilege to go "into battle" with you guys! I'll miss you all so much.

I have so many great things I'll take with me. Of course, just having had the privilege to work with each of you, volunteer and staff, has left it's mark on my life. I know that the Lord used each one of you to prepare me for my "new assignment," as Rich called it. I have improved as a musician, church staff member, and person because of the impact each of you dear friends have had on my life and you are all cherished and will be sorely missed.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

TV Themes

For years the trivia question went something like this: "What is the onlyTV show with no theme song?" The answer: 60 Minutes. OK, so what about Lost? What consitutes a song? The theme for Lost is the logo, with a key pad sweep. Is that a song? Alan Silvestri might say no. John Cage might say "sure!" In fact, Cage would probably say the tick-tock of 60 minutes is a theme song. So back to Lost. Is it a "song?"