Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Eve at Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside Pittsburgh, PA (USA) at 8 pm

A year ago I was new in town, just getting over aggressive chemotherapy treatments, and without a job. I'm a musician, so that obviously means finding a keyboard instrument that is lonely and wants me to play it.

It so happens that the folks at Third Presbyterian were looking for an organist, although I wouldn't find that out until February, and not get hired until the last day of April. I started Pentecost Sunday, this past June. 

It is strange, but my first week as substitute organist (back in March) was the week the new console was installed. I took a break from practicing the chapel organ to see what was going on in the sanctuary and happened to catch it being wheeled down the aisle. What does one play for an organ rolling down an aisle?

It is my seventh month with the people of Third, and my first Christmas. The start of new traditions, surrounded by a new community.  The Christmas decorations went up in our picturesque sanctuary a month ago.

A week ago we had our Christmas pageant.

We have plenty of other things going on in the building as well. Concerts by groups around Pittsburgh and our own church folks are some of them. We also have a sewing mission in the basement. 

That's Lenny, our choir director, and his wife, Raquel, a singer. We put on a concert together in November.

I happen to like the outside of the building, but some people probably find it forbidding. Inside, however, is not only beautiful, but warm and friendly.

(everything looks great in the snow)

Sunday night we'll be singing all the familiar carols. Since we are a very "good" church and don't sing our carols until Christmas, I'm excited to finally get to play them. Despite our organ being in disrepair and currently only half complete, I have over a hundred ranks (sounds) to choose from and the congregation, choir,  and I will make the rafters ring.

If you are in the area and would like/need/want something wonderful to do/be at on Christmas Eve, consider this an invitation. I may not know you yet, but if you hang out near the organ, the goofy looking guy with the glasses will say hello.

We're at the corner of Fifth and Negley in the Shadyside neighborhood.

And wherever you are now, and wherever you may be Sunday night (and if you are of a different tradition please translate this into something that gladdens your own heart)...

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, my! Shadyside certainly has its hands full! (100+ ranks). What fun! Mike, you are definitely a lucky guy to find a new toy like this. And I hope the congregation sang out. It’s lovely when they do that so you can accommodate and reciprocate! I’m enjoying my newbie at First Presbyterian Farmington. Happy New Year!


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