A friend of music at First Congregational Church is someone like you!

403 South Jefferson Ave.
Saginaw, MI 48607



Monday, April 28, 2014

Dedicatory Organ Recital, May 9 - Frederick Swann

You will not want to miss Fred Swann’s dedicatory recital on Friday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m.  Open to the public, the suggested $20 donation will help defray the performer’s fee. The Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is sponsoring a reception in the church’s Bradley House following the evening’s recital. 

Frederick Swann is past President (2002-2008) of the American Guild of Organists, an organization of over 20,000 members in chapters throughout the United States and several foreign countries. He is Organist Emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral and of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, and Artist in Residence at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, California. Mr. Swann is also University Organist and Artist Teacher of Organ at the University of Redlands.

One reviewer noted that Mr. Swann has probably presided over more ranks of pipes and stopknobs than any other organist in history. This is perhaps true given the size and prominence of the instruments with which his career has been associated: Riverside Church in New York City (1957-1982); The Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove (1982-1998); and, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (1998-2001).

Take part in this memorable musical happening!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Initiative to Mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month

The CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region teams with First Congregational Church of Saginaw and other regional organizations in a faith-based initiative to observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. Since then, it has been a time recognizing the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse.  

The culminating event, the Children’s Sabbath, or National Blue Sunday, is a special worship event occurring on Sunday, April 27, 2014, 10:30 a.m., at the First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), 403 South Jefferson Avenue, Saginaw, 48607.  National Blue Sunday is a national child abuse prevention initiative with the goal of inspiring others to create their own child abuse prevention efforts. 

Suzanne Greenberg, President and CEO of CAN Council Great Lake Bay will deliver a message on April 27 titled “Building a Better Future for Our Children.”  Guest musicians from the Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy (SASA) will collaborate with members of First Congregational Church’s Chancel Choir.   Rev. Marilyn Clark Farley, Director of Christian Education at First Congregational Church, and Jeremy Farley will present Shel Silverstein’s allegory The Giving Tree in visual theatre. The Rev. Bup Ahn, a guiding teacher, will offer a meditation for children in the Buddhist tradition.  Annie Kidder, a student at SASA, will serve as worship leader and recite a text by Marion Edelman, after which doves will be released commemorating the lives of children who cope with abuse or who are the ultimate victims of child abuse.  Phyllis Stevens, of Dreamers White Dove Release, will supervise the release of doves in the final ceremony.

Faith communities in the Great Lakes Bay Region are asked to take time in their morning services to pray for the prevention of child abuse. A faith-based organization’s simple, cost-free efforts can make a difference in child abuse prevention efforts.  Among other actions, a faith community can display pinwheels at its campus; a community can conduct a candlelight vigil; a community can address the issue of child abuse in its weekly bulletin; a community can include special prayers or meditations in its worship service; a community can sing hymns, offer poetry, or lead a study concerning the protection of children. 

Free resources are available from the CAN Council, 1131 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, 48602. 

Barrier free access to the First Congregational Church is available at the Baum St. parking lot.  For more information about this National Church Abuse Prevention Month faith-based initiative, contact the office of the Saginaw County CAN Council, 989-752-7226, or Nicholas Schmelter, Minister of Music, at First Congregational Church, 989-754-6565.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Honing in on Horning Hallelujah

The horizontal reed is in place for Easter worship.  Will it fanfare resurrection alleluias?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Music of Holy Week - Points to Easter

The ensemble Exultate Deo, under the direction of Robert Sabourin, performed "Music of Holy Week" for an audience of over one hundred listeners on April 18.  Photographs of the event are courtesy of Kenneth Wuepper.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Choral Scholar Highlighted - Sarah Fogg

This week's highlighted musician is alto Sarah Fogg, First Congregational Church's second Choral Scholar. She is completing a course of study in elementary education. A lifelong singer, Sarah has sung in Saginaw Valley State University’s Cardinal Singers for two years.