Engaging in the Imagine Initiative and Welcoming Jason Charneski
I write this during the “dog days of summer,” in the heat and humidity of August. When I moved back to the Northeast in 2008 my first summer here was a difficult one, but it had nothing to do with the weather. Having served three churches in California and then three churches in Texas, I knew that many folks took their vacations in the summer months. What I didn’t know was that in the Northeast, many people “take the summer off” from church. Lest you think I am exaggerating, here’s the numbers for our congregation: average worship attendance for the month of May – 281; the average attendance so far in August – about 60.
While I was reflecting on this, God once again reminded me of the Lord’s faithfulness. I was walking home and noticed the acorns on the sidewalk that are starting to fall from the very large oak tree on the front lawn of the church. Relative to size, the acorn and the oak are akin to the mustard seed story from the Bible – something so big coming from something so small. It is hard to fathom that huge, magnificent tree growing out of something as small as the acorn.
The “dog days of summer” feel like the acorn days to me. And yet, this summer especially, I look forward to the fall, to the season of the oak, if you will. We are excited about two very significant events taking place as we begin the month of September.
The first invites us to again reflect on the acorn and the oak – to imagine all that God can and will do in us and through us as we are faithful in our response to God’s goodness and grace in our lives. You will be hearing much in the days ahead about our Imagine Initiative, the theme of which is based upon Ephesians 3:20 – “By God’s power accomplishing far more than we can imagine!”
Secondly, we are so excited to introduce to you our new Director of Music/Organist, Mr. Jason Charneski. Jason’s first day will be September 8 and his first Sunday will be September 13. Jason holds degrees in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY (with distinction), and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
Jason recently served as Director of Music and the Arts at The First Church of Christ (Center Church) in Hartford, CT. He is also accompanist and organist for the Connecticut Choral Artists and is a member of the American Federation of Musicians. Jason is active in the American Guild of Organists and a member of their Convention Committee. He also holds memberships in the United Church of Christ Musicians Association and the American Choral Directors Association.
I invite you to welcome Jason to our church. He is very excited to be with us and we are very pleased to have him as part of our staff.
From the small acorn comes the mighty oak. Imagine all that God is going to do with us and through us this fall, and in the years to come!