THANK YOU, STEVE
“O God whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven...” These are the opening words of the prayer for church musicians in the Book of Common Prayer. They allude to the idea that the Bible tells us that God is constantly surrounded by choirs of angels singing God’s praise. When we join in praise of God on earth, we join the heavenly host in aligning our praise with theirs - or so the ancients thought. No matter how one thinks about it, the ministry of sung prayer is a vital and central aspect of worship and has been for millennia.
The ministry of leading that praise and prayer takes skill, effort, care and dedication and few have shown so much of all of these as our Director of Music, Steven Finch. Steve has been a constant and faithful member of our church staff for 33 years and has dedicated his life to music in service of this church. To think that he has served this church longer than any of the previous clergy and has served us all through many dedicated priests is arresting. His dedication to preparation, attention, encouragement and direction have been a gift to us all for generations and it is impossible to thank him for all that he has contributed to the worship life of this church adequately. But, we will try when we regather as a church this fall.
In the meantime, this Sunday we mark the formal end of our shared ministry with Steve as we gather for worship online. It is important to mark this occasion with solemnity and thanks, knowing that none of us would choose to do so this way. But, to Steven and to the Choirs we offer our most heartfelt thanks for all the hours of practice, worship, prayer and praise that they have offered under Steve’s direction this year and for the past decades for all of us.
Steve, you have moved us all on so many occasions and have shaped the worship life of this church for 33 years. We cannot thank you enough.
Steve reminded the staff this week that at the bottom of every score Johann Sebastian Bach signed his scores by adding “SDG” to the end of each. SDG was an abbreviation for the Latin phrase Soli Deo Gloria or “For the Glory of God Alone.” Steve reminded us that this was his life’s aim and mission at St. John’s as well. Thank you, Steve, for your humble service to God’s great glory and our great appreciation.
To Irene and Steve - thank you and may God bless you both in your well-earned retirement.
We look forward to sharing details about a future celebration.