Posted by: smstrouse | May 9, 2017

Organ Farewell

image002On Sunday, we bid farewell to our beautiful pipe organ  in a glorious celebration of music and musical talent. First United installed the Woodberry & Harris organ in the chapel at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary after we sold our building in 2007. But now, as PLTS prepares to move to a new location, we have to find a new home for this lovely instrument. PLTS will leave the campus at the top of Marin Avenue on May 27, so we held our Sunday service in the Chapel of the Cross.

Click here for the story of how First United acquired the organ in 1995 from a church on Catalina Island: Easter IV and PLTS organ exit May 7 2017

Pastor Jeff Johnson, First United’s pastor at the time, and organist/music director Orion0636396-R1-029-13 Pitts shared stories of traveling to Catalina to dismantle and carefully pack the organ, load it onto a barge to take it to the mainland, then drive it to San Francisco to be installed in the church at 30th and Geary. Here are some pictures of it taken at my installation in 2005.

0636395-R1-007-2

 

 

Pastor Kathryn Gulbranson, assistant to Bishop Mark Holmerud of the Sierra Pacific Synod, was our guest preacher. And council president Tamara Alliston wrote this beautiful prayer:

We pray a prayer of blessing for this organ and most especially those who play it;
for the songs and the musicians who write and sing them;
for the spaces that have and will continue to house it – and the communities that enjoy it;
for the people who will listen to it and whose spirits and voices rise to its music;
for those who assemble and disassemble, store, move, repair, and maintain it;
for the moments and lives that will be more beautiful for its sound;
May the inspiration that it has given us be carried forward with our blessings into its future –
and may FULC be woven into its music as a rich and integral part of its story.

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