Articles for Church Newsletter


Take Note - May 2018

May 1, 2018

Last Sunday (April 22), our choirs and I finally gave our annual Spring Concert. More than any other year, we encountered some unexpected obstacles during our preparation for the concert. The most shocking one was that our beloved Skinner pipe organ suddenly stopped working a few weeks before the concert. Luckily, I had planned a way to have the concert without using the main pieces that greatly needed the organ this year. But, we still needed our organ for Bach’s cantata and some other pieces, and our digital piano was used as a back-up.

In my personal opinion, we need to get our pipe organ working again as soon as possible, more for our services than our public concerts. The pipe organ deserves its name “the King of Instruments” due to its magnificence and range of sound, but the true value of the organ, I believe, is that it is the best instrument to support our voices with its sustained and rich sound.

Even this historical instrument has its own ups and downs in history. In early Christian churches, they didn’t use the organ because they considered it for secular music. Around the year 800, the organ started to appear in churches, but after the Reformation of the 16th century, many protestant churches in Europe followed the tradition of the early Christian church and didn’t allow the use of any instruments, including the organ. Only human voices were considered good instruments to praise God. But the organ did come back again to church services through history because its important role to support our voices when we sing praise to God.

We started working towards the recovery of our organ, and the efforts have been shared not only by our Worship and Music Team, but also with other teams and their budget plans. We are also asking our church members for their generosity to help. On Sunday, June 3, we will be taking up a special offering to help with the repairs. I look forward to having the full sound of our pipe organ back soon, so we can enjoy the great sound of our organ itself and sing along with it to praise our loving God in one voice.


 

Take Note - April 2018

March 31, 2018

It was a cold and snowy day when I was alone playing the piano in our sanctuary, working on J.C. Bach’s piano quartet in G major, one of the pieces for our 2018 Spring Concert. Johann Christian Bach is one of Johann Sebastian’s sons. I was so happy when I found this piece while preparing this year’s Spring Concert. This piece is like an amazing combination of his father’s Baroque style and the style of the next generation, the Classical period.

I recognized, in the middle of playing...


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Take Note - March 2018

March 15, 2018

The time around late February and early March is always hard to pass by. Maybe it feels that way because it’s the end of winter and it’s also usually during the Lenten period in the Christian year.

This year has not been that much different. Harsh winter weather has been hurting the entire nation from the east to west coasts and a lot of difficult news has been reported inside and outside of this country; from gun shooting tragedies to ongoing violence in the Middle East and elsewhere t...


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Take Note - February 2018

January 26, 2018
 

This is a puppy doll I gave Miah as a gift for our anniversary last week, and I put it next to a turtle doll I gave Miah for her birthday a couple years ago to take a good picture. They look like good friends with each other, and I felt like they were talking about how they ended up living here with us. It seems amazing that we feel affection for these dolls even if they aren’t alive.

This year, Ash Wednesday is on February 14, which happens to be Valentine’s Day. Ash Wednesday is foll...


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Take Note - January 2018

January 11, 2018

It’s only natural for us to look back and evaluate what has happened in the past year when we approach the end of it. This year of 2017 seems to me to have been one of the most meaningful, comfortable, and exciting years.

First of all, this year will be remembered as a historical year, when all my family here became US citizens. The Han family has been pursuing and celebrating our citizenships throughout the whole year. Solomon was born here in the USA, but I hope he has had a chance to f...


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Take Note - December 2017

January 11, 2018

Concluding some event or time always gives us a chance to look back and re-evaluate what we have done and what we have experienced. Based on that, we will also be able to plan for the next step. This year, 2017, has been a special and meaningful year for me and my family. It’s our 20th anniversary living in the USA and it’s also the year when all our family members have become US citizens.

For this reason, Miah and I have had many opportunities to celebrate this year with our fellow chu...


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Take Note - November 2017

January 11, 2018

It seems like the changing of the seasons always comes to us suddenly before we can accept them. From last week in the middle of October, continuously rainy days started and the temperature suddenly dropped. Now I am worried about the baby grass that started growing after a week or so after I put seeds on the damaged spots on the side of my yard. When I look around, many houses were in the process of remodeling or maintaining. People are also cleaning up their garages and gardening equipment....


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Take Note - October 2017

October 20, 2017

Again, the season of fall is coming back. Fall is supposed to be a harvesting season, and it seems to be especially true in Iowa.

When I eat my favorite, pork belly or fresh side pork, the Korean perilla (perilla leaf) is essential with lettuce. The strong aroma from the leaf goes wonderfully with oily pork meat. But, it’s not available at any nearby stores. So, I decided to grow it myself four years ago. I bought the seeds for this plant but they failed to grow.  The next year, I put the s...


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Take Note - September 2017

September 3, 2017

We recently had our staff retreat, which was Thursday through Friday, August 17-18. This was my first overnight church staff activity out of town. We had a very exciting, fun, and meaningful time together thanks to Amy’s well-planned program, everyone’s active participation, great location, the wonderful facility of the retreat center, and our new staff member Stephanie, who joined us this year.

On the return trip, I was thinking about the retreat. What was the most important lesson I l...


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Take Note - August 2017

July 28, 2017

A long time ago, I was chattering with a lady who was a school music teacher as well as church musician.  She said one of her school band students quit band recently, and she asked me if I could guess why.  On my puzzled face, she said the student's mom said she valued her family time, and her son's practicing took away from it. After a brief pause, we laughed out loud together for a while.  The conversation, though, didn't seem like just a light joke to me after I thought about it more deepl...


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