Keeping each other safe during COVID
Please visit our homepage and specific ministry pages to see how we are adapting our shared ministry to this challenge.
Mike Powell, our Director of Music, writes:
Music at St. Thomas has looked different since Covid-19 swept across our country. Since March we have worshiped together virtually via our church’s YouTube channel, and the music for these virtual services is drawn from multiple sources. Most of the hymns and liturgical pieces are drawn from recordings of past services when we were together in the sanctuary. I offer and record each Sunday’s prelude and postlude in the sanctuary before each service. Katie Gardiner, our Choir Director, meet in the sanctuary at a generous distance from one another to chant each week’s psalm responsively. Pastor Adrianne and I do the same in recording the sung parts of the Communion liturgy.
Starting this fall, the choir has resumed its participation in worship by offering virtual hymns and anthems on festival Sundays of the church calendar. These videos are rehearsed and recorded asynchronously and then layered together to create a virtual performance. You can find all of them here. If you’d like to join this group, please get in touch with me!
Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music. (Martin Luther)
Music at St. Thomas
Music is an ancient form of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving and provides a creative way of offering ourselves to God. Congregational singing is a hallmark and joy of our shared worship. In addition, the music ministry at St. Thomas provides members and friends with opportunities to use their gifts from God to the glory of God. Those with gifts of music and song are encouraged to share them in our community. Instrumentalists are warmly invited to contact the Mike Powell, Katie Gardiner, or Melissa DeGraaf to talk over how they might contribute.
The Adult Choir assists in leading worship with conviction and musical integrity, encouraging the congregation in offering prayer, praise, and thanksgiving to the glory of God. This labor of love is offered with the hope of inspiring the congregation to reflect more deeply upon the weekly readings and the rhythms of the liturgical year. Choir members are not considered performers, but leaders of musical ministry, sharing in the liturgy with high musical standards and selections drawn from the broad heritage of the church. The choir is also a place of mutual support, spiritual enrichment, and fellowship among its members. Katie Gardiner, director of the adult choir, is a doctoral student in choral conducting at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.
The Children’s Choir nurtures young people up to grade six through integration of music, worship, and discipleship. Members are provided an early taste of musical ministry and choral singing, with the hope that they will enjoy music throughout their lives. The choir reinforces the importance of the ministry of children by sharing their gifts from God with the church. It also helps to provide mutual support, spiritual enrichment, and fellowship. The children’s choir plays games each week that teach musical concepts and learn to play Orff, handbell, and rhythm instruments. 6th graders are encouraged to become Junior Leaders, helping with song, prayer, and games. The children are taught to view their singing as a response to God’s love – glorifying God – and not as a performance. Melissa DeGraaf, director of the children’s choir, has a long and varied music background including musical background as a music professor at the University of Miami, a youth choir director, and leader of a church-based music and movement program.
The St. Thomas commitment to excellence in music was exemplified by the dedication of our fine organ on February 7, 1999. This instrument supports the Lutheran tradition of love for liturgy and music of the highest quality. Our organ blends four separate instruments and more than 1,700 pipes into an “American Eclectic” style pipe organ. Its tonal quality and versatility are greatly appreciated both by the congregation and by the IU Jacobs School of Music Organ Department for recitals. Mike Powell, our Director of Music, is a doctoral student in Organ at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University.
Our J.C. Wilson organ and Yamaha piano are available for practice and performance. Contact the church office for scheduling.