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December Monthly Newsletter by Jason Edwards

"City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style..."

"JASON!" My cousin exclaimed, red-faced from embarrassment, "STOP BEING OBNOXIOUS!"

She was right. We were in the middle of the mall in Texarkana, TX, I was singing Christmas carols at the top of my range with intent to embarrass, and I'm not sure it was even Christmas. I was being obnoxious.

My wife might argue that I'm still a bit obnoxious when it comes to Christmas carols. I don't sing with intent to embarrass anymore, but I do sing them around the house, often out of season. The Christmas season has always held special joy for me, and somehow, whether I recall them in December or June, carols kindle that.

I’m not alone in this. Certain seasonal songs have long possessed an ability to capture the Advent and Christmas essence.  We experience this each Sunday in December as we join our voices to offer hymns to God. And we will experience this each Sunday in December this year as we reflect together on the first songs of the season, the Canticles of Christmas, which are embedded in the Gospel story.

Wikipedia defines a Canticle as “a hymn, psalm or other songs of praise taken from biblical or holy texts other than the Psalms.” This year we will look at five Christmas canticles, beginning with the more modern Ave Maria, inspired by two verses in Luke’s gospel; followed by four Christmas Canticles whose total text can be found in the stories of Luke 1 and 2, namely: The Magnificat, The Benedictus, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, and Nunc Dimittis. We’ll study, hear and sing these songs as a way of once again entering into this story ourselves, hopefully kindling the real spirit of the season in us and others as we do.

I hope you and your family will plan to join us for every single singing opportunity during this sacred season.

With Advent expectation,

Jason Edwards, Senior Pastor


Posted by Jason Edwards at Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 0 comments
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Charlie Cheetah Chewed a Chunk of Cheap Cheddar Cheese by Naomi Fuller

“A big black bug bit a big black bear.”

“Charlie cheetah chewed a chunk of cheap cheddar cheese.”

Student Choir folders are out, we’ve warmed up with tongue twisters and lots of other vocal exercises, but now what?

After warm-ups, we work on several different songs. I like how there are multiple parts – basses, tenors, altos, and sopranos. We all have different parts that create one choir. One of my favorite parts of Student Choir is when all of the different parts sing in unison.

Another of my favorite things we do in Student Choir is the “Question of the Week.” This is a time when our choir director, Leslie Bunch, asks us a question that we all have to answer. It is a great time to get to know other kids.

Overall, Student Choir is a fun way to learn about each other, to sing different parts in harmony, and to worship God through music.

at Monday, November 27, 2017 | 0 comments
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"When in Our Music, God is Glorified" by Don Brown

A Catalyst Testimony

I believe it was 2004 when Helen and I decided to work with the Middle School Handbell Choir.  We realized the group did not have a leader for the coming school year.  Grandson Stewart was entering Middle School, and we wanted to make sure he had a handbell choir to join. A couple of years later, granddaughter Emily joined us. Stewart and Emily are way past Middle School age, but we have continued to enjoy working with this exciting and challenging age group.  Fortunately,  Don Long soon joined us as a co-director of this group.  His experience and expertise working with young musicians, and his genuine love of students, make him a vital part of this leadership team.

Some may not be aware of the music education program going on in the church.  Each Sunday choral groups for young children through high school, as well as handbell ensembles, train children and young people not only in musical skills but also in the value of music in worship.  Students in these ensembles become worship leaders as they prepare to sing or play in our services.  They also learn the value of teamwork, coupled with individual responsibility.

 While leaders (including choir accompanists) of these groups are volunteers, the Catalyst resources enable us to purchase the music and supplies we need to sustain these programs.  Without that support,  we would not be able to function.  We are grateful to our congregation for their support of the music ministry and other vital ministries of Second Baptist. 

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be glory) on each of his compositions.  We may not always be successful, but that is our goal and purpose in the music ministry of Second Baptist.

at Saturday, November 25, 2017 | 0 comments
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