Stewardship 2016: Music

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Being a church musician and using my talents to bring glory and praise to God is one of my greatest passions in life. I always thought that I would be teaching music in a high school setting, but I kept feeling that I was supposed to do something else with music. One day I was meeting with OSU choral director, Dr. Robert Ward, and I was telling him that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing with music. At the time, I was singing under Dr. Ward not only in the choirs at OSU, but with his church choir at Worthington United Methodist. That day during lunch, he said to me, “Shane, you really seem to enjoy church music, and there is something about you that lights up when you sing the repertoire at Worthington.” It was truly a light-bulb moment and I immediately knew my calling was church music.

Along with music, my other greatest passion in life is to show people that we are all God’s beloved children, no matter our race, gender, orientation, socio-economic status, culture, age, physical or mental handicap, or any other life situation that I fail to recognize. There is so much hate in the world today, and I believe the church should be a place where everyone feels welcome and like they are a part of a community.

So why did I tell you all this? I have served at large, medium, and small churches, and Dublin Presbyterian is the most welcoming and accepting congregation at which I have served. I was so excited when I received a phone call to come and interview for this position. During my first meeting with Jennifer and Cheryl, I knew right away it would be a great fit, and when I met with the choir I knew God was calling me to this place.  I believe in Dublin Presbyterian church, because of its radical hospitality. From day one, I have been made to feel welcome and like I am a member of the family. This church welcomes everyone, no matter their life situation, and I believe that is the greatest gift that this congregation could give someone. To be honest, I never in a million years thought David and I would be able to be married by a pastor. When we asked Jennifer if she would marry us, she was very willing to perform our ceremony, and I was thrilled when Session gave approval for her to do so. This showed me how much this church cares about us, and for that I will be forever grateful. I have honestly never served in a church as open and welcoming as this congregation, and for that I commend your efforts for accepting everyone, and welcoming them into the family and kingdom of God.

The choir is the heart of Dublin Presbyterian Church. We work hard on our music selections every week, so we can glorify God, and hopefully touch your heart with song. However, the choir is more than just singing on Sunday and rehearsing on Thursdays. We are a family. We come together every week to rehearse and sing, but it is really so much more. We share our lives with one another, as we lift each other up through our struggles and grief, and we celebrate in each other’s joys and accomplishments. If you have ever thought about being in the choir, please come and join us. It really is a great group to be a part of, and we can always use more singers.

The Children are also a huge part of the music program here at Dublin Presbyterian. We come together during kids club to learn about God and His goodness. I enjoy watching their faces light up as they sing for all of us. I have watched the wonderful job Nancy and so many others have done to keep the children’s music program alive throughout the history of this church. I am impressed at the importance that our church places on our youth program, as these children and young adults are the future of our church.

One other thing I have learned is this congregation is not afraid of change. There has been a great deal of change with the implementation of a concert series since I came on board, and I am so thankful that this congregation is supporting the series.  Along with opening our doors to the community, these concerts gain a great deal of exposure for people to see how wonderful it is to be a part of our congregation. Not only are these concerts free, but some of them help benefit organizations in our community through free-will offerings. For example, this congregation raised a great deal of money for the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization over the summer at our Night of Broadway Concert. I am excited to open our doors in November to the Handbells Columbus Ensemble, and again in December for the Dublin Coffman choir and orchestra. It is great to see the church opening their doors to the Dublin and Columbus communities in other ways than just for Sunday worship.

In closing, I hope you all know how much I love being your Director of Music Ministries and I hope my music, and the choir’s music, lifts your spirits and touches your heart every Sunday. This morning I would like to close with a quote from Martin Luther, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

Shane Trace, Music Director
October 16, 2016