Articles for Church Newsletter


Take Note - November 2018

November 8, 2018

When I played for funeral services, sometimes I heard Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 read, which is about a time for everything. Whenever I listened to these verses, it let me think about where I stand at the moment, and it gave me a kind of mysterious comfort. According to this message, we don’t have to be too sad and hopeless when we are in trouble. On the other hand, we should not be arrogant when we are successful.

When I started serving First Presbyterian Church in 2011, I was in a difficult time. It was, however, a great time for me too. It was a time for me to grow as a church musician and a person as well. Being led to this church reassured me that God had not ceased watching over me and preparing me for the next steps.

During the last 7 years plus some more months, I have had a wonderful part of my life. I have received an abundance of love from the church family and enjoyed blessed fellowship with them. Musically speaking, I have had chances to perform a lot of great pieces of music, including some of my life-dream pieces, such as Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the church choir and other musicians for the community.

Now, it’s time to move on. I feel like I am leaving my parents’ house when I need to keep growing up. First Presbyterian Church members have expressed their sadness to let me and my family go, but I also can see that they give their love and blessings, just like all parents do when they let their grown children leave them.

I will leave Waterloo, the Cedar Valley, and the state of Iowa after my last service on Christmas Eve at First Presbyterian Church. I will start serving Central Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan as Director of Music Ministries on Monday, January 7, 2019. My feeling is like going back to my birth place, since that state is the place where I spent my first 12 years in the USA with my family, and where the two universities I graduated from are. But, I will miss the state of Iowa and the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area, and especially First Presbyterian family for the rest of my life. You have helped me grow and loved me like my parents and family. Thank you all for everything, and God’s blessings to you all.


 

Take Note - October 2018

September 29, 2018

Music is around us all the time. We celebrate our birthdays with music and send our people to heaven with music. We sing and play instruments when we are happy and we do the same thing when we are sad. God wants us to praise Him with music and God wants to communicate with us through music as well.

While writing this article, I am looking forward to Music Dedication Sunday on September 23. Our Celebration Ringers and Sanctuary Choir will play and sing during service. We will also introduce ...


Continue reading...
 

Take Note - September 2018

August 30, 2018

While letting a fun summer go, another fruitful autumn is ahead of us! Are we ready to enjoy this beginning of the new church year?

Our first choir rehearsal will be on Wednesday, September 5. I am in the middle of selecting music for both Celebration and Sanctuary Choirs. Planning is a time-consuming job, but it’s a most happy and imagination-filled job for me. Actually, the good results of our music ministry usually starts with this planning process. Without careful and sincere planning...


Continue reading...
 

Take Note - August 2018

July 31, 2018

Summer seems to be divided into three parts to me: exciting entrance in June, peak of enjoyment in July, and closing the season in August. Now, we are entering the phase of closing and preparing for coming seasons of school, work, and church year.

I have enjoyed some out-of-state activities in June and July this year: Handbell Festival in Rochester, MN with our bell choir members, and American Guild of Organists National Convention in Kansas City, MO with Miah. As a non-musical activity, I ...


Continue reading...
 

Take Note - July 2018

June 29, 2018

I was in Rochester, MN June 22-24 with our Celebration Ringers participating in the Area 7 Handbell Festival Conference. This event happens every other year, and our ringers’ enthusiasm for this event has always been strong. After 2014, this year is my second time going to the event, and I enjoyed it again with our ringers. Learning some new things about the instrument and technique may be important, but personally, learning to be a player in a group, in this case a BIG group of about 400, ...


Continue reading...
 

Take Note - June 2018

May 31, 2018

When I think of a break, there are two types in my mind. One is productive and voluntary. The other one is wasting and passive. In the scriptures, we can find these two examples. Jesus often took breaks in between his very busy ministries during his last years on earth. When he withdrew from his disciples and the people, he took time to pray and rest to recharge Himself for the next steps in teaching and leading the people around Him. The other case of break I found is when all of Jesus’ di...


Continue reading...
 

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 pie...


Continue reading...
 

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...


Continue reading...
 

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...


Continue reading...
 

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...


Continue reading...
 

Make a free website with Yola