Summer Sharing: Duncan Hartley

george by duncan

Photo by Duncan Hartley

Many wonder why PUMC’s Tiffany window shows St. George and the Dragon. “The legend of St. George and the Dragon is simply an allegorical expression of the triumph of  the Christian hero, or the church, over evil,” says Duncan Hartley. “Having dared to criticize a Roman emperor, St. George was subjected to horrible torture. ”

Duncan will talk about the window in the Summer Sharing series on Sunday, August 28, at 11:15 a.m. (after the 10 am service) in Fellowship Hall. His title: “My Life Through a Lens: from Shakespeare to St. George.” 

The dragon has been a Christian symbol of sin since the Middle Ages. The metaphor is taken from Revelation 12:9 where Satan is termed “the great dragon” and “that old serpent.” In Psalm 91:13 it is written that “the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

Christian art and literature has made frequent use of this symbolism. “Tudor duncanpoet Edmund Spenser, for example, named the Redcrosse Knight as the champion of holiness in The Fairie Queen,” says Duncan. “The knight and Una, representing the true religion, are finally betrothed after he has killed the dragon. The figure Gloriana represents glory in the abstract, and Queen Elizabeth I in particular. ” St. George became the patron saint of England in the 14th century and is now the patron saint of Moscow. Many of the most famous artists depicted St. George, and almost every major museum has a painting of him.

 

2016 august George Tiffany Durrell label 8246450915_8693f1433d_b

Photo by Duncan Hartley

 

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Warming up to music: Tom Shelton

lorie photo

Tom Shelton, PUMC children’s choir director, tapes PUMC choristers for his webinar.

Tom Shelton, director of children’s and youth choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church and  assistant professor at Westminster Choir College. will present a nationally broadcast webinar on Thursday, August 25, at noon for the Choristers Guild, a church music publisher, on Effective Teaching Techniques for Working with Children’s Choirs.

To prepare the webinar he invited members of the choir to join him in the music room last week. Here is how they “warmed up.”

And here is how Tom uses the Dalcroze Method to teach rhythm:

Looks like fun, doesn’t it! EVERY child is invited to join the PUMC Children’s Choirs. Participation is free, all are welcome.

Tom Shelton invites children and parents to a Children’s Choir open house at the church, Nassau at Vandeventer, on Wednesday, September 7. Kindergarten and first grade come at 4:30 p.m., second through fifth graders at 5:30 p.m.

Youth from grades 6 to 12 are invited to an open house for the Youth Choir, led by Tom Shelton, at Princeton United Methodist Church, Nassau at Vandeventer, on Sunday, September 11 at 6 p.m.  Parking is free on Sundays; for parking information click here.  Email Tom@PrincetonUMC.org or call 609-924-2613.

 

 

 

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BOOM! Speaking truth to power

“Boom!” was the topic for Rev. Jana Purkis Brash on August 21, 2016. “Boom!” as in the sound made by the mike when a speaker — invigorated by the success of the speech — drops the mike and walks away.

In healing a crippled woman on the Sabbath, Luke 10:13-17, not only did Jesus perform a miracle, but he triumphed over the religious leaders who objected to healing on the Sabbath. Jesus “dropped the mike.” He spoke truth to power.

As Christians we are called to help the oppressed, those who are so burdened by life that they cannot stand straight.  And we too can “drop the mike” to fight social injustice. We can speak truth to power.

BOOM!

In a gentler vein, Jana welcomed six little girls to Children’s Time. Some came from as far away as New York, Canada, and even Mexico! She emphasized that — even though some don’t get to visit very often — they are all part of our church family.

childrens time

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Sing with Us: Meet the Children

Introducing singers from PUMC’s Children’s Choir!

Tom Shelton, director of children’s and youth choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church and  assistant professor at Westminster Choir College. will present a nationally broadcast webinar on Thursday, August 25, at noon for the Choristers Guild, a church music publisher. To prepare the webinar he invited members of the choir to join him in the music room last week.

A sought-after conductor, educator, and composer, Shelton welcomes everyone to his choirs at PUMC; there is no audition and no participation fee. On Wednesday, September 7, Tom Shelton invites children and parents to a Children’s Choir open house at the church, Nassau at Vandeventer, on Wednesday, September 7. Kindergarten and first grade come at 4:30 p.m., second through fifth graders at 5:30 p.m. Youth from grades 6 to 12 are invited to an open house for the Youth Choir, on Sunday, September 11 at 6 p.m.  Parking is free on Sundays; for parking information click here.  Email Tom@PrincetonUMC.org or call 609-924-2613.

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Shelton is assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and president elect of the American Choral Directors Association. He has conducted ‘all state” and festival choirs in 20 states and abroad, including at Carnegie Hall.

Through music of the Christian faith, PUMC choristers learn good singing techniques and music theory; they participate in worship monthly, present a musical in the spring, and sing at special services throughout the year.

Here’s an example of how they learn:

 

 

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Sing with Us! Open house September 8

 

Watch a master teacher at work! See and hear the Children’s Choir from Princeton United Methodist Church in rehearsal. This clip — warming up their voices — was filmed by Tom Shelton for a national webinar he’ll give on August 25.

Please share this with families you know: Tom Shelton offers an introductory session on Wednesday, September 7, at 4:30 p.m. (kindergarten and first grade) and at 5:30 p.m. (second through fifth grade). The open house for youth (grades 6-12) is Sunday, September 11, 6 p.m. Shelton teaches the youngest children, ages three and four, during their Sunday School class. Parking information here.  For info, call 609-924-2613 or email Tom@princetonumc.org.

A sought-after conductor, educator, and composer, Tom Shelton welcomes everyone to his choirs at PUMC; there is no audition and no participation fee. Through music of the Christian faith, PUMC choristers learn good singing techniques and music theory; they participate in worship monthly, present a musical in the spring, and sing at special services throughout the year.

Here’s a great example of how music education develops singers’ minds:

Do you know a child who could love music? Invite them to PUMC’s choirs!

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15 Reasons Why Your Child Should Join the PUMC Children’s or Youth Choir

Tom Shelton rehearse musical at Princeton United Methodist Church

Tom Shelton at PUMC Musical Rehearsal

Princeton United Methodist Church offers robust children and youth choirs for members and non-members. But in the time of kids being encouraged to participate in sports, academic activities, and community service, why should they consider singing in a choir?

  • Children sing naturally and joyfully
  • Builds valuable life skills
  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Increase self-discipline
  • Meet new friends
  • Proven to raise IQs and SAT scores

Why join PUMC’s Children or Youth Choir when there is Princeton Girlchoir and American Boychoir School as choices?

The choir at Princeton United Methodist Church has been a true GIFT for our daughter… Since she started choir two years ago, I have also witnessed increased confidence and actual vocal improvement too! Tom Shelton, our choir director, creates a bonding environment for our children… [he] is EXCEPTIONALLY talented… – Mae, mother of an 8 year-old

  1. Tom Shelton at PUMC

    Tom Shelton at PUMC

    Choirs are under the direction of Tom Shelton, who is also an Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster College, and has a long career conducting children’s choirs. He directs honors choirs in festivals across the country and internationally

  2. It’s FREE! There are other choirs in Princeton, but they are expensive
  3. There are NO auditions, which makes it very inclusive
  4. There are more chances of getting a solo
  5. Choirs have accompanists (piano, organ, or other instruments) for a more professional performance
  6. It could be supplemental to other choirs (practice makes perfect)
  7. They have weekly or bi-monthly rehearsals and sing monthly (summer months they’re off)
  8. There are four choirs: Children’s (3-4 years old), Lower Elementary (K-1), Upper Elementary (2-5), and Youth (6-12) so they will feel an accomplishment moving up to the next choir
  9. Musical theater training is included since they perform in the PUMC Pageant during Advent, and they stage a musical in the spring.
  10. Smaller group sizes allow for more individualized instruction
  11. If you are not a member of a church, it’s a fun way to introduce your child to church
  12. Children can learn parts of the Bible through song
  13. You do not need to be a member of the church to join and you can ask non-member friends to join you
  14. They will occasionally travel to perform to bring joy to others
  15. Their free off-site performances are also considered outreach and community service

…[Tom’s] respect for children is definitely an asset along with his fine music teaching skill. Through his music program, everybody in the choir felt included and got along well regardless of familiarity with each other and experience level… – Christine, mother of a 6th grader and Kindergartener

There’s no doubt that music education is very beneficial to children. They learn the alphabet and nursery rhymes through song. Being in a PUMC choir is quite special; what they learn is invaluable. They enter wide-eyed and curious and leave musical and global citizens.

…We also benefit from the choir by impacting the lives of other people within the church and the community. It’s fulfilling to know that we can make some [seniors] happy by performing for them at their assisted living community.  We get to do all of that by working with our wonderful Choir Director Tom Shelton and his staff! – Marie

The other asset other choirs are missing is Tom Shelton. Parents praise his ability to connect with their child and help them reach their potential, regardless of their skill level. He makes it fun for them, which increases the retention rate.

Children and parents are invited to a choir open house at the church, Nassau at Vandeventer, on Wednesday, September 7. Kindergarten and first grade come at 4:30 p.m., second through fifth graders at 5:30 p.m. Participation in the choir is free, and all are welcome. Open house for grades 6 to 12 is Sunday, September 11 at 6 p.m.

If you think your child would be interested in joining one of the PUMC choirs or have any questions, contact Tom Shelton at Tom@princetonumc.org or call 609-924-2613.

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Sermon: Telling Our Stories

Our lives are ‘storied’ together as people who will be remembered, and who will act by faith, said  Erik “Skitch” Matson in his August 14, 2016 sermon ‘The Stories We Tell.” it was based on a lectionary reading, Hebrews 11:20-12:2.

“By faith” was the often repeated catch phrase in this passage, which recounts story after story — from the Exodus to Jericho and the sufferings of the prophets.

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith,” says Hebrews. 

“Narrative is the scaffolding of experience,” said Matson. Let’s use Jesus as the lens, the eyeglass, with which we interpret our stories.”

 

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Erik ‘Skitch’ Matson on ‘Stories We Tell’

SkitchMatsonErik ‘Skitch’ Matson — our new youth pastor — will be in the pulpit on Sunday, August 14, to preach, based on Hebrews 11:29-12:2. His topic is “The Stories We Tell” so here is his biographical story, in his own words:

“Prior to coming to Princeton Seminary, I spent 5 years working with youth in San Diego, CA, and am grateful to lead in this role again. I was born and raised in northern California but headed south to Point Loma Nazarene University for a B.S. in Physics. It was during this time that God pulled my heart towards ministry, and I haven’t looked back since. I enjoy listening to and playing music, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports, and reading a good book. I also enjoy being around young adults, which fits nicely into the second part of my two-point charge as the Director of the Methodist college ministry at Princeton University, the Wesley Foundation.”

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Summer Sharing: ‘The East and West in Me’

So far this summer, in Summer Sharing sessions after church, Barbara MacGuigan has spoken on her anthropology adventure, and Paul Manulik and Lindsay Diehl have told about their music mission to Haiti.

Summer Sharing continues with Jamileh “Jamie” Gerber on Sunday, August 14 at 11:15 a.m.in Fellowship Hall. Born in Iran, Jamie has worked around the world from Tehran to Trenton, from South Carolina to Spain.

Jamie grew up as a Christian in Iran, where most of the people, including her 2016 august jamie headshotgrandparents, were Muslims. In the early 1930s her father was befriended by Christian missionaries who arranged for his eye disease to be treated in Tehran. “It was his Damascus moment,” says Jamie. She remembers that, following the teachings of Jesus, he brought people into their home from all backgrounds and religions.

Jamie went to college in Beirut and worked in the royal palace, leaving Iran for a year to earn a master’s degree in instructional technology from Indiana University. One of her favorite jobs at UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was to help newly literate rural farmers read how to improve their agricultural methods. In 1979 she and her family survived the revolution. Jamie moved with her husband and two children to a Spanish fishing village on the Mediterranean Sea, and she found work teaching in an international school.

When Jamie moved to Princeton in 1983, she joined our church. She earned her Master of Library Service at Rutgers and worked at the Princeton University Library and at the state labor department. Then she left town to be an associate professor at Bloomfield College. Remembering Princeton and PUMC fondly, she moved back here and rejoined the church this spring.  Her topic: “The East and the West in Me.”

 

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Hear Rev. ‘Buster’ Soaries at the chamber lunch

2016 august soaries

A noted faith leader — Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. —  will speak at the Princeton Regional Chamber  Lunch on Thursday, August 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Forrestal Marriott.  The senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, he is a former New Jersey Secretary of State and the author of “Breaking Free from Financial Slavery,” published by Zondervan.

Princeton United Methodist Church belongs to the chamber, so any of us can go for a reduced ticket price ($50). Register as a church representative. For the networking, bring your own business cards as well as brochures or cards from the church.

 

 

 

 

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