Wednesday Chime Concerts

 

This series of outdoor concerts were started in March, 2020 when we were unable to meet in sanctuary for worship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, concluding on June 9, 2021.  

 

About the Concerts

Our weekly chimes concerts are held each Wednesday at 12 noon to about 12:30 pm.  The concerts feature our Minister of Music, Andrew Paulson, playing hymns on the chimes of our Schultz Memorial Organ.  Each week the hymns are selected to be part of a theme which usually coincides with the liturgy for the week or the season of the church year.  The music is pre-recorded on the organ by Andrew and played back Wednesday at noon so that you have the opportunity to ‘meet and greet’ Andrew outside during the concert.  The final concert of the series will be on June 9, 2021, the week before we return to worship services in the sanctuary on June 13, 2021. 

 

Attending the Concerts

This is an outdoor event.  The music is played through a speaker inside St. John’s tower and can be heard throughout out grounds. You may park in any of our parking lots and listen to the concerts, or you may bring lawn chairs and sit in the area of our Meditation Garden and Labyrinth, where most people gather, or you may sit anywhere on our property.  In the warmer weather, some people bring a picnic lunch.  Note:  Anyone on the St. John’s grounds is required to wear a mask and stay socially distanced at this time.

 

Listening to the Concerts in Other Places & Other Times

Each Wednesday at 12 noon, the pre-recorded chimes concert audio is played on our public Facebook page St John’s UCC Lansdale, PA | Facebook and our private members Facebook group.  This is the same concert being played during the outdoor event.  It appears as a video that you click on to play, with a slideshow of photos of our building shown on screen as the music plays.  If you are unable to listen at noon, the concert is archived on Facebook and can be played or replayed at any time convenient to your schedule.

 

Giving During the Concerts

These chimes concerts are free and open to anyone in the community as long as they wear a mask and practice social distancing.  There is no offering taken.  If you are able, we do collect food items for Manna On Main Street each week, a project of St. John’s Outreach Team.  Watch for a vehicle with the trunk open in the parking lot near the labyrinth.  We suggest that you check with our Manna webpage to see what food items they currently need and what they don’t need.  Click the link below:

Manna On Main Street

 

Questions & Answers About the 2021 Chimes Concerts
 
If the concerts are ‘live’, how can Andrew Paulson be greeting people outside at the same time the concert is playing?
The new Schultz Memorial Organ from the 2017 organ restoration project allows Andrew, our Minister of Music, to play and ‘pre-record’ the chimes concerts on the organ, something both David Furniss and now Andrew Paulson have done since 2020. A new concert is recorded by Andrew on Mondays and premiered in a playback on Wednesdays at noon over a speaker in our church tower that allows it to be heard all around the church grounds so that we can enjoy the music ‘socially distanced’ around our parking lots and gardens.
 
Why do the chimes concerts on Facebook look & sound different than last year? Last year we were streaming the concerts ‘live’ at 12 noon on Facebook. It was very popular until the weather turned warm and most people came out to listen ‘live’ at church and only a few people watched the live stream. We were streaming using  an ipad camera & microphone balanced in my car window using my car wifi stream with the car running for ½ hour with the A/C running on hot days. We had lots of traffic noise, wifi dropouts, and even an occasional dogwalker ‘scooping up’ in the background. This year, Andrew is sending me the direct audio from his recording, so the procedure works better and the sound quality is much improved! Instead of a live picture of the church tower, we have a slideshow of photos of the church – but the main focus is on the audio chimes music anyway!
 
When & where can I hear the chimes concerts at home?
This year, because the concert is pre-recorded, it is posted on both our public and private Facebook pages by Wednesday mornings, so you can listen at any convenient time, including 12 noon Wednesdays if you want to be listening at the given concert time. The posts stay on Facebook so you can listen later.
 
How can I find out what hymns are being played this week?
A listing of all the hymns being played in order is posted on the private Facebook page on Tuesdays, and the listing is posted again with the audio concert on Wednesdays on both the public and private Facebook pages. The listing also gives Andrew’s ‘theme’ for that week. If interested, you can print the list.
 
If I can listen at home, why should I come to church Wednesdays at Noon? While we are unable to gather Sundays for in-person worship, these concerts have become the weekly time when you can come out and fellowship with your St. John’s friends or meet new ones. Just be sure to wear a mask & keep socially distanced. People gather in the parking lots on both sides of the labyrinth and meditation garden. As the weather warms up, some will bring lawn chairs and even picnic lunches. There are usually people gathered from about 11:45 am to about 12:45 pm. Also, it is a good opportunity each week to bring your offering envelopes and leave them in the locked mailbox by the ramp door. You can also bring donations for Manna on Main Street collected by our Outreach Team, look for a vehicle with an open trunk.

 

History of the Chimes Concerts

This concert series began in March, 2020 to provide a gathering opportunity when in-house worship was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This allowed our members and guests who were mostly homebound a chance to get out and gather in a safe manner on the church grounds for a short time.  The concerts were started by our then-Minister of Music David Furness, and the series was continued by our new Minister of Music Andrew Paulson after David retired in July, 2020.  Andrew expanded the series by adding a weekly theme and making a listing of the hymns available before the concert to follow while listening.  The series took an 8 week winter hiatus from late December 2020 to mid-February 2021 but is now back on a weekly schedule.  The series will conclude on June 9, 2021.