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Congregational Life at LCH—October, November, and December 2009

Celebrating Christmas

LCH’s celebration of Christmas began with Family Christmas Eve Worship, at 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve. The congregation enjoyed music by the F.R.O.G.S. (Families Revering Our God in Song) Choir and Chamber Orchestra throughout the service.

Music before worship came from a young pianist and the strings, the entire ensemble presented “Away in a Manger” before the children’s conversation and “The Holly and the Ivy” for the offertory, and young organists played during communion and the closing organ voluntary.

At left, all the children gather around the crèche to hear the story of the first Christmas in the children’s conversation.

Worship continued with a more traditional “Midnight Mass,” preceded by a musical presentation by the LCH Choir and the Bach Chamber Orchestra. “A Baroque Christmas” at 10:30 PM featured Bach’s Cantata Nr. 151, organ music by Bach and Buxtehude, and a chorus for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

Festival Choral Eucharist at 11:00 included carois by the choir and the congregation, with Schubert’s Deutsche Messe as the service music.

Christmas morning, Choral Eucharist was celebrated at 10:30 AM.

Read more about Christmas worship and see additional pictures from both Christmas Eve worship services in the Christmas 2009 Slideshow.

Deck the Halls

Two more days until Christmas, and the decorating crew showed up early on December 23 to make sure the Nave would be ready for the joyous celebration of Christ’s birth. Veterans and first timers pitched in to set up the crèche, change paraments, put together the poinsettia tree for behind the altar, put together a wreath, and set out all the beautiful poinsettia plants.

Given the many years of experience represented, most things went as smoothly as you would expect. But there was one problem, and with one of the simplest tasks—putting lights on the courtyard tree. Let’s just say that it took ten Lutherans to get the lights ready to be strung.

Even though there were five strings of lights, only one worked. One string wouldn’t light up at all, and only half the lights worked on the other three. Different people came by and tried different things. One person tried changing bulbs, another tried plugging them together in a different order, and someone else tried changing the fuses, but nothing worked. So, in the end, they rolled up the sections that wouldn’t light and hid them near the trunk. After all, it won’t show at night.

At right, Teresa McCreary and Randy Castello put up the lights once all the electrical problems had been solved.

Read more about decorating for Christmas and see additional pictures in the Christmas 2009 Slideshow.

Preparing for Christmas

Advent is about preparing for Christmas, and with less than a week to go, preparations at LCH kicked into high gear.

First, there was cleaning to do. The floor in Isenberg Hall was dingy beyond belief, and the Nave floor needed work as well, so we brought back Ben Lai, former LCH custodian, to help strip off the old wax and get both floors in proper shape for the holiday.

The folks at the Preschool were happy to help by moving everything out of Isenberg so the crew could get to work bright and early on Saturday, December 19. Ben and another helper did the skilled work in Isenberg with help from Edward Ichikawa and Church Huxel. Then Chuck and Edward started rolling the pews out of the Nave into Hörmann Courtyard, as shown in the picture at left. Later, Billie Jean Ries, Mary-Jo Estes, and Bill Potter came along to help move everything else onto the altar platform so Ben could get to work on the Nave.

Once everything was dry, the furniture could be moved back. But to protect the Nave floor, everything had to be carried to its proper place—including all of the pews. It took six people to carry each pew (plus someone to direct traffic), so even with Fred Benco, who came to help in the afternoon, there was no one to take pictures of that process.

Additional pictures are available in the Waxing the Floors Slideshow.

Of course there are lots of other preparations for Christmas, including preparing all the music for three glorious Christmas worship services.

Members of the F.R.O.G.S. Choir and Chamber Orchestra have been working hard every Sunday to get their music ready for the Family Worship at 5:00 PM on Christmas Eve, as well as making sure they were ready for the Jesse Tree liturgy each Sunday of Advent.

The LCH Choir and Bach Chamber Orchestra rehearsed Monday evening, December 21, for “Midnight Mass” on Christmas Eve. In addition to Festive Choral Eucharist at 11:00 PM, with Schubert’s Deutsches Messe as the service music, the choir and orchestra offer A Baroque Christmas at 10:30. This musical prelude includes J.S. Bach’s Cantata Nr. 151 Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt, organ works by Bach and Buxtehude, and the chorus “Ehre sei dir Gott gesungen” from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

On Christmas Day, there will be Choral Eucharist at 10:30 AM, with Victoria’s Missa O magnum mysterium as the service music.

At right, tenor soloist Ian Capps rehearses his recitative from the Christmas Eve cantata.

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Golf—LCH Style

The LCH Golf Group had one of their largest turn outs yet when 11 gathered for a friendly round on the links after worship on Sunday, December 13.

The beautiful, sunny day was not without incident. Jake McIlvaine showed up in his full dress uniform after being called to an emergency at Pearl Harbor. Fortunately, that got taken care of in time for him to join the group. After all, nothing can keep golfers from their commitments. Fred Benco hit a magnificent drive on the ninth hole—so magnificent it broke the club. But there was also a celebration when Emily McIlvaine got her first par in Hawai‘i.

These golf outings are all about recreation and not competition, and all are welcome. Join them the second Sunday of February when they play at Fort Shafter. See Peggy Anderson for details.

At left, members of the group pose for a group photo before teeing off on the first hole.

Abendmusiken Celebrates G.F. Handel

The opening movement of the Ode for the Birthday of Queen AnneLCH’s Abendmusiken Concerts Series celebrated the 250th anniversary of George Frideric Handel’s death with “Music for a Royal Occasion” on Sunday, November 1.

The concert began with Handel’s Organ Concerto No. 3 in G minor, featuring Kathy Crosier on the organ; Darel Stark, violin; Karen Bechtel, ’cello; and the Bach Chamber Orchestra. The concert continued with “Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne” with vocal soloists, and the Bach Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra.

Following intermission, the full LCH Choir and Bach Chamber Orchestra presented the “Dettingen” Te Deum.

At right, Christopher Conley, countertenor, sings the opening movement of the “Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne” with Carl Crosier directing from the harpsichord.

LutherFest 2009

There was a hot time in the ol’ Hörmann Courtyard on October 25 as LCH held its annual celebration of our Reformation heritage with LutherFest 2009, and it wasn’t just the warm temperatures and high humidity. The crowd came ready to enjoy themselves.

The happy hour before dinner featured LCH-label wine and cold beer, as well as the “Diet of Worms” gummy worm eating contest. All the while, the committee was grilling up delicious “brats” and arranging everything for the sumptuous potluck dinner.

Following dinner, Fred Benco played his accordion while everyone sang Reformation carols. Then came the highlight of the evening: a visit from Martin Luther (played by Fritz Fritschel, at left). If you weren’t there, you missed out on his hilarious account of Dr. Luther’s concern for the people of Überuntergau.

Mark you calendars now for LutherFest 2010 on Saturday, October 30, 2010.

Additional pictures from LutherFest 2009 are available in the LutherFest 2009 Slideshow.

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Celebrating Children’s Sabbath 2009

The F.R.O.G.S. Choir and Chamber Orchestra singing an anthem.LCH hosted our annual celebration of Children’s Sabbath on Sunday, October 18. As has been the custom in recent years, the talented children of our Sunday School provided beautiful music for both morning worship services.

Piano, violin, and string trio performances took the place of the usual organ music before the 10:30 AM service, and the F.R.O.G.S. Choir and Orchestra sang and played the Introit, as well as the Alleluia Verse and an anthem following the children’s conversation.

Organ and violin performances followed the choir anthem during communion, and one of the older children played a Bach fugue for the organ voluntary.

At right, the F.R.O.G.S. sing and play “Do unto others,” by Vicki Hancock Wright.

Pictures from all these performances are available in the Children’s Sabbath 2009 Slideshow.

LCH Hosts Hukilau Fall Assembly

Members and pastors from all the ELCA churches in Hawai‘i (the Hukilau Conference) gathered at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu on Saturday, October 17, for their annual Fall Assembly. Joining folks from the Hawai‘i churches were Bishop Murray Finck of the Pacific Synod and Synod Assembly Vice Chair Sheila Wenzel.

The morning began with Holy Communion, led by Bishop Finck and the LCH 8:00 O’Clock Ensemble, and then Bishop Finck (pictured at left) spoke about the work of the Synod, his attendance at the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans and Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, and the unity we in the church have in Jesus Christ. Of particular interest to Assembly members was the Lutheran Malaria Initiative adopted at the Churchwide Assembly.

Lunch followed the bishop’s address, and then the assembly broke up into interest groups (council presidents, webmaster, Christian education, mission, and so on). When the groups had finished, the Assembly reconvened for their business meeting, at which a spontaneous collection for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative resulted in more than $180, which the bishop will deliver in person on his next trip to church headquarters in Chicago.

Pastor Appreciation at Pau Hana

It was a rainy Friday on October 9, but that certainly did not dampen spirits for the October Pau Hana Friday at Ala Moana Beach Park.There were plenty of burgers and dogs, delicious desserts, and good conversation for the crowd who gathered after work.

To add to the festivities, Ms. Peggy had gathered signatures on a card for “Pastor Appreciation Month,” which she presented to a surprised Pastor Jeff, along with a balloon.

Watch for the next Pau Hana Friday in early November.

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