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All praises for Stewardship

Stewardship season in the church. That dreaded time when we “ask for money.” Truth be told, stewardship at Church of the Holy Communion is very good and in every way. We give to the parish budget in measure and return of how God has blessed us. The parish staff guards and carefully uses these funds to carry out our numerous programs for children, youth and adults. We also use these funds to support any number of social ministries in our diocese and in our city, from... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, October 24, 2018
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Join rector's lead in the choir loft

The rector sang in the Parish Choir yesterday morning. A first for me. Throughout the years, a number of associate rectors and deacons have sung in my various choirs. Two in recent memory love to sing so much that they look for personal opportunities outside church to sing regularly, which I think is quite healthy and wonderful. I have also known a number of bishops who love to sing. During my cathedral days, our bishop would roll his eyes at me if (when) I tootled a fanfare on the... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, October 15, 2018
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The disciples and their BFF

I have always been intrigued by Jesus’ relationship with his disciples. Even as a child, when my grandmother would read me Bible stories from those big Bible story books she kept at the house at the lake (there was also one big book at the in-town house for nights I spent there), I remember being interested in Jesus and his interactions with the disciples. For example, Jesus’ relationship with Peter: Jesus expected Peter to be the grown-up, the eldest, the one to whom the... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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God moves in a mysterious way

Last Monday I had not one idea about what to explore in this blog this week. After Tuesday afternoon service leaflet editing, and after Wednesday evening choir rehearsals, I now know exactly what is on my mind this week. Last Sunday morning's 10:30 service music was our normal fare of the grand Anglican via media mixture of music: a Hispanic carol, a contemporary American psalm, Bach and Buxtehude at the organ, Rutter’s arrangement of “Lord of the Dance,” five... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Thursday, September 27, 2018
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Dance, then, wherever you may be

For the first time this choir season, the CHC Choristers will join the Parish Choir to sing for the 10:30 a.m. service this Sunday, September 23. The choirs will sing a John Rutter setting of “Lord of the Dance,” the tune for which many worshipers will recognize as the “Shaker Hymn” or “Shaker melody.” It is usually associated with the text “'Tis the gift to be simple.” The tune was written in the early 19 th  Century by... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Picnic Church

This Sunday (September 16) is “Picnic Church,” Church of the Holy Communion’s annual outdoor Sunday morning 10:30 service, followed by “Dinner on the Grounds,” as we used to say in Southern country churches. I began calling this Sunday “Picnic Church” some years ago, and the title appears to have stuck with some parishioners and staff members, bless our hearts. The 8 a.m. service remains unchanged in Quilling Memorial Chapel because,... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, September 10, 2018
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The Faithful Church

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus is healing again. He does that quite often, you know. After our six Sundays of lectionary readings in which Jesus tells us that he “is the Bread of the world,” this Sunday’s wonderful stories of the little girl being delivered from a demon and the healing of a deaf and mute man are exciting moments of scripture. “ Ephphatha! ” That is, “Be opened!” What a great word, yes? In both our 10:30 and 5:30... Read More
Posted by Jane Roberts at Thursday, September 6, 2018
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It's a season of newness

We are doing new things these days. If you need a little evidence, take a peek out of one of the windows in Rooms 307, 309 or 311 to see that big hole in the dirt where the gym used to be. I have been an Episcopalian long enough now (a former Methodist with a little moderate/liberal Baptist on the side) to know that we do not often like change. You know the old Episcopal joke: “Change that lightbulb?! My grandfather served on the Vestry, and my grandmother donated that... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, August 28, 2018
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These servant leaders wear cassocks

As they say, I am constantly preaching to the choir. I try not to, but I tend to get excited about what I do and what we’re doing. One of my beloved mentors always said, “Remember that they come to choir rehearsal to sing and to not hear you talk.” Bless my heart. When you sing in a church choir, you take on the mantle of a servant leader. The choir serves as one corporate servant leader in the service, leading the hymns and service music, Psalm for the day and... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Many firsts this week. This past Sunday (August 12) was the Parish Choir’s first Sunday back after its well-earned summer hiatus. We hit the liturgy running with a cracker-jack brass quartet joining us for the Vaughan Williams “The Old 100 th Psalm Tune” and some festive season hymn settings for Rally Day. Organist Dr. Gamble completed the “Old Hundredth” theme by playing the John Knowles Paine “Variations on Old Hundred” for the closing... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Thursday, August 16, 2018
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But we never sing "Amazing grace"

I am a pastoral musician. At least that is what I tell the choristers in my charge when I am choosing and rehearsing anthems and what I tell myself when I am selecting hymns for the congregation to sing. Truth be told, I do try to choose “the old favorites” during the summer months when we do not have the choir in place for a few weeks. While attempting to remain faithful to our rich worship heritage of liturgy and lectionary readings, I do dive for the familiar hymns. The... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, July 3, 2018
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One to the Power of 3

Trinity Sunday. What does one say? The sermon on Trinity Sunday, you know, is always the one that the rector makes either the deacon or seminarian preach because you wind up talking in circles anyway. Wondering what I said in this blog about Trinity Sunday last year, I reached back into our electronic files only to discover and remember that Trinity Sunday was much later into June 2017. Hence, I did not write a Trinity Sunday blog last year. We all know the images. Father, Son and... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, May 21, 2018
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And now, from a cubicle

Welcome to the Music Department. Yes, this is it. Our parish offices are now relocated in temporary space loaned to us by the lower school of St. Mary’s Episcopal School, diagonally across the street from our Walnut Grove Road church campus. The center of the lower school campus is Moss Hall, the majestic old brick mansion with white columns. The foyer is resplendent with a circular staircase, center chandelier and an Oriental carpet on the stairs. A former private... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, May 14, 2018
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Grace, all sufficient

In March every year, the Holy Communion Ringers, our parish handbell choir, attends a local handbell festival. The festival, River City Ring , is sponsored by the West Tennessee Handbell Association, an affiliate of the Handbell Musicians of America. Church of the Holy Communion maintains memberships in both the local and national organizations. While our local handbell festival usually includes 10-15 choirs from around the region, some handbell festivals feature upwards of 75 choirs... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Friday, May 4, 2018
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Out with the old, in with the new

As most everyone knows, our parish is making immediate preparations for a $7 million building construction and renovations project. Storage pods (nicknamed Paul, Silas and Timothy) now stand on the east lawn waiting to be filled, and every picture and plaque has been removed from the walls of Blaisdell and Greenwood.  This is the assigned week for the music ministry to pack up and vacate. Last Sunday our choirs vested in the vesting rooms and retrieved their music folders... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, April 23, 2018
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