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An Advent gift from Peace Lutheran Church

Submitted to The Union
In response to the challenge of COVID-19 and still wanting to give to the community, Peace Lutheran Church got creative. Being blessed with having the renowned organist Walt Strony on staff, they are happy to present two Advent video worship experiences on YouTube.com.

During the season of Advent, Peace Lutheran Church of Grass Valley traditionally offers a Wednesday Advent worship service during the month of December including special music by a variety of musicians. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this congregation is not able to offer this in-person Wednesday evening worship experience this year.

In response to this challenge and still wanting to give to the community at this special time of year, Peace Lutheran Church got creative. Being blessed with having the renowned organist Walt Strony on staff we are happy to present two Advent video worship experiences on YouTube.com. The first was “held” on Wednesday, Dec. 2 (and continues to be available) to be followed with another on Wednesday, Dec.16.

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These videos, along with the Sunday video worship experiences, are available at YouTube (youtube.com) or on the Peace Lutheran website at https://peacelutherangv.org/.



Walt Strony gives us a glimpse into these special Advent services.

“When our staff met to discuss our annual Advent Musical Meditation several months ago, we anticipated that COVID-19 would still dictate our plans. We knew that we couldn’t have the same types of musical performers — choirs and other musical groups. And of course, we knew that there might be attendance limits, or outright banning of gatherings. So, I started thinking about how many other church musicians I know, who are in the same predicament as Peace Lutheran. Most of them are also involved with their weekly online services, and some even do some of the videography, as I do.



So, I decided to ask if they would be willing to donate a video track for our Advent Musical Meditation. Not only did almost every one of them say yes, but a few offered tracks, unsolicited,

In our first event, we have a selection of musicians from across the US and even Europe!

Christian Elliott is organist at Menlo Park Presbyterian, where they have an extensive in-house video crew.   Jonathan Eyre is organist at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in London, where they also have in-house video dept.

Others contributed videos they made themselves. The quality of these videos is often amazing. Rudy Lucente is a well known Philadelphia organist who plays extensively in that region, and is one of the organists at Macy’s Philadelphia where he plays one of the two largest pipe organs in the world. In fact, he just yesterday was featured in a live-online concert performing at Atlantic City Convention Hall, the other of the two largest pipe organs that exist.  Scott Foppiano is another concert organist, who plays at Purity Presbyterian Church in Chester, S.C.

Our good friend, Thom Greathouse, who is organist/choir director at Emmanuel Episcopal Church here in Grass Valley, contributed a piano solo.

And we have others planned for our next Musical Meditation. Famous organist Jan Kraybill, organist for the Kansas City Symphony has contributed a video, and we’re in conversation with several others. One problem we’re having is COVID-19. One friend from France was anxious to submit something, but we’re not sure if he’ll be able to get to his church. France has major restrictions right now, such as a 20 km limit on car travel away from home.

Of course, we’ll feature our in-house String trio, our handbell group, our fabulous soprano Anne Vaaler and Yours Truly.”

Please join Peace Lutheran Church of Grass Valley in celebration of this joyous season.

Source: Peace Lutheran Church of Grass Valley


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