E-Newsletter of Asbury First
New Screens Installed
in Steeple Openings
July 16, 2020
A church is more than the building, and the members
of Asbury First are proving
this time and again. We aim
to keep connected with a biweekly e-newsletter that will highlight the unique stories
of our amazing community.
By Chuck Hanrahan
The steeple on our sanctuary is one of the most distinctive on East Avenue, and can be seen from miles away. The interior of the steeple is an open-air space which houses our new exhaust fans used for moving hot stale air out of the church. It has also been home to a pigeon population. The pigeon guano has long caused problems as it clogs roof drains which causes water to leak into the sanctuary. It is also acidic and could cause corrosion of our new fan units over time. Experts consider the pigeon guano to be toxic waste. The pigeons have been a problem for a long time. Until now! As part of our infrastructure project, and using generous funding to support the project from Rochester Area Community Foundation, we have installed a metal mesh screen inside the bell tower openings to keep the pigeons out. The mesh screens were custom fabricated and installed by Frank J. Mariancci. As a part of the project, we replaced the damaged roof drain and installed new roofing. The screens are still a little shiny from the galvanizing process, but they will dull over time and disappear from view.
Here are a few screen grabs from the many virtual meetings we have had as a church during these isolating times.
Photos by James Flack
Charles Jones waxes the Choir Room on the lower level.
Our Property Caretaker James Flack and our amazing team of Sextons continue the work of cleaning and updating our campus while we are away. Here are some pictures of their work to beautify our buildings.
Above: Paul Angotti cleans and prepares the lower level hallway
Right: Dale Griswold works on painting the stairwell leading to the lower level from the Day Care Center.
We don't know about you, but we have been missing the beautiful space that is our sanctuary. All of the incredible details and the stained glass create a respite from the world and an environment that helps prepare us for worship. Since we are not able to be physically in this space together, we are happy to add still images to our live-stream service. Glenn Peck has recently scoured the sanctuary and taken stunning images of all the beautiful details that we are missing. Keep an eye out during the pre- and postlude on Sunday mornings
for glimpses of Glenn's wonderful work.
Photos by Glenn Peck
Our Prayerful Surroundings
Featuring Asst. Organist
Asbury First is privileged to enjoy the talents of a dedicated musical staff, and perhaps now more than ever we've had a chance to experience some of them up close. Over the next few weeks we'll profile each of our soloist/section leaders, as well as our Organist Duane Prill. This week we feature Assistant Organist David Strong.
Get to Know Asbury First's Musical Staff
Q: When did you join the Asbury First musical staff?
Answer: I joined the Asbury First musical staff as Assistant Organist in 1987 upon the retirement of Mary Anna Geib. It's interesting to note that there's very low turnover in this position. Since 1955, only three of us have held the position! Additionally, I held the position of Music Administrator for eight years (it was supposed to be a two-year appointment). I'm grateful for Carl Johengen's arrival last year as full-time Director of Music Ministry. That has enabled me to focus on my other non-music-related responsibilities that comprise my other position at Asbury First.
Q: Tell us about an experience at Asbury First that
has really stuck with you:
A: There is no one experience. There are many. As assistant organist, listening to, learning from, and being inspired by Duane Prill and, before then, Marian Craighead, on a weekly basis are highlights. Working with wonderful choral directors such as Carl, Bill Weinert, and Roger Wilhelm, our soloists, and various choirs have also been highlights. And, of course, working with gifted senior ministers and a pastoral staff that understands and supports the important role of music within and outside our worship services is unusual and very gratifying.
Q: Do you have a favorite musical moment,
either here at Asbury First or elsewhere?
A: A favorite moment includes, but isn't limited to, Jeanne's and my wedding many years ago. We had an organ mini-recital as the prelude, played masterfully by Marian Craighead, and a full service with hymns, solos, and communion.
Q: What do you do when you're not at Asbury First?
A: My assistant organist role is one of two I have at Asbury First. I'm also the full time Church Administrator. So, much of my time is spent at and revolves around the Church. However,—and thankfully I have a home life—shared with my wife, Jeanne, and our two-year old beagle, Benson—a real joy. As time allows, I exercise, listen to music of all types (jazz and English choral music are favorites), prepare and eat fine food, ski, and travel. Also, and most importantly, I like to stay connected to and visit with my daughters.
Q: Tell us what's been helping you stay sane while sheltering at home:
A: Continuing to work—now from home a good part of the time—and staying connected to others via the tools of technology.
In celebration of our church’s 200th anniversary we are having Camp 1820 the first week in August. This will be an at-home family experience where we travel back to the 19th century. There will be period games, music and crafts. The big challenge for all is to see if your family can live like it’s the year 1820 for 18 hours and 20 minutes! On Tuesday, August 11 we will come together virtually on Zoom to share our collective experiences from the week.
We hope you will join in the fun!
VISIT WWW.ASBURYFIRST.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION
Calling all families young and old!
By Jim Carter
Grocery Bag Ministry Continues with Emergency Responses
Our small Grocery Bag Ministry (GBM) crew continued to help out with emergency requests from our partners this last month. Recently, we were able to bring boxes of food, dozens of eggs, and a collection of our new frozen meals to our partner Mary Robinson of the Miracle Outreach Ministry, where she and her team would bag and distribute them. Then, we worked with Powerhouse Church and provided the same variety of supplies and bags to feed 60 families. Lastly, we were able to continue to help Cindy Malone and the Keeping Our Promise (KOP) Rochester team support the refugee program with eggs, potatoes and onions. Onions are harder to get at the moment, but a special shout out to Kevin Dattyhn at the Public Market for helping us locate them.
Left and above: The GBM crew donating boxes of food to our partner Mary Robinson of the Miracle Outreach Ministry.