On That Note – February 2016

Last spring, three musicians from the congregation (Brian Crooks, Scott Moore, and Randy Crafton) approached me with an idea. They wanted me to join them in starting a band that would provide music for certain UUCM events and Sunday morning services every once in a while.

I had two immediate thoughts. One (which I shared) was that it sounded like fun and a great idea. The other one (which I kept to myself) was that this project would probably not come to fruition unless I took the lead – for which I simply didn’t have the time.

Well, I am happy to say that I was wrong. If you attended ReUUnion, our outdoor homecoming celebration in September, you heard The Unbroken; and we played again for a Sunday service in the fall. Although at the keyboard, I was not in charge of this project. All I had to do was show up for rehearsals.

Some time last year our Assistant Music Director, Stearns Matthews, suggested that we should have a holiday concert in December. My reaction was similar. I said, “Great idea,” – and I thought, “Who is going to organize this? I don’t have the time to do it.”

Like the musicians in the story above, Stearns did not just throw out an idea and then expect someone else to do the work. He put together the program, arranged the music, and enlisted help from many other people to make it all happen. The result was a very well attended concert on December 20th, which was not only fun for us and the audience, but also financially benefited United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.

If you are like me, you may have experienced some mixed emotions when you heard that our Associate Minister, Judy Tomlinson, will be leaving us this summer. Yes, I am grateful for her service and happy for her as she embarks on new adventures – and also somewhat anxious about what’s next for this community. We know that our Interim Senior Minister, Dr. Justin Osterman, will be with us for another year and a half – but what then? Who is going to show us the way?

We all are. The stories of the band and the winter concert are just two examples of extraordinary ordinary people in our congregation taking the initiative to make things happen. I am emboldened and energized by seeing so many of you – us – recognizing these opportunities and making the best of them.

Markus Grae-Hauck
Music Director