Thursday, April 23, 2009

Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mark's

I am pleased to announce that St. Mark’s has called Robert McDowell Fogle to be the Organist and Choirmaster for the parish. Mr. Fogle will begin his duties on June 1.

Known affectionately as “Mac,” Fogle received a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance and Church Music from the University of Louisville School of Music in 1991. At U of L he studied organ with Melvin Dickinson. In addition to his studies at U of L, he has received a Master of Music in Organ Performance from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York. While in New York, Mac sang in the choir and served as choral rehearsal accompanist at St. John the Divine Episcopal Cathedral.

Mac has been serving congregations since he was in college (1989 to be precise). Most recently he has served as Director of Worship and Music at St. Albert the Great Roman Catholic Church, Louisville.

At St. Mark’s, Mac will bring unity and focus to our music program by playing the organ at all our services, teaching the children and youth sacred music through the Royal School of Church Music program at St. Mark’s, directing all our choirs and choristers, and conducting our hand bell choir. Further, he will assume responsibility for assisting the clergy in the coordination of volunteer worship leaders and the preparation of all aspects of our liturgies.

St. Mark’s had over forty applicants for the position. Many of the applicants had extraordinary training and experience. The Task Force that was advising me in the selection, however, stopped the search process after meeting Mac. As you get to know him, I know you will come to respect him and enjoy being with him as much as I and the task force have. I look forward to planning, preparing and leading worship with Mac at St. Mark’s. I am confident that Mac is the right person to build upon the strong foundation of music excellence that those who have come before him have laid.

I want to thank the Task Force: Mendy Cumberledge, Herb DeLegal, Chuck Eirk, Nancy Urbscheit, Tamara Meinecke, Laurie Duesing, Laura Nevitt, June Gibson, and C. Ann Gittings. I also want to thank David Arnold and David McDaniel for hosting one of the prospective candidates during his visit to the parish. Finally, I want to thank Alice Covell, who encouraged Mac to apply for the job.

We all are grateful for those who have served us during this interim period. As we conclude the season of our life together, be sure and express that gratitude to Jack Ashworth, Robert Lee, Laura Lea Duckworth, and June Bailey. They all have done an outstanding job and we are in their debt.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Parade

Crescent Hill holds an annual "Easter Parade" on the Saturday before Easter (I know, I have tried to tell them it is not Easter until sundown--but they don't pay any attention to me). Anyway, St. Mark's always has a float, etc. Here are a few snap shots of our entry this year.

Background: They painted my truck, "decorating" the eggs. Yes, it is real paint. No, it will not wash off. And yes, it is probably an improvement.

Maundy Thursday

Someone asked me this week why "Maundy Thursday is called Maundy Thursday." I told them, "we don't really know." Here is a longer answer.

"Maundy Thursday" is the name for "Holy Thursday" in England. It is conjectured that the name "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum meaning "commandment" or the Latin word mendicare meaning "beg". We cannot say for sure. The name traveled with the British Empire.

According to a common theory, the English word Maundy is derived through Middle English, and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John (13:34) by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.

According to other authorities, the English name "Maundy Thursday" arose from "maundsor" baskets, in which on that day the king of England distributed alms to certain poor at Whitehall: "maund" is connected with the Latin mendicare, and French mendier, to beg. According to this theory, the term "Maundy" comes in from the English maund, which as a verb means to beg and as a noun refers to a small basket held out by maunders as they maunded. The name Maundy Thursday thus arose from a medieval custom whereby the English royalty handed out "maundy purses" of alms to the poor before attending services on this day.

Or, in short, we don't really know.

Easter Basket

A communicant at St. Mark's recently sent me this in an email. I share it with you for your own reflection. I have filed it under "things that make you go ummmmm....."

"BTW, in reference to your homily a couple of weeks back (the one about Sacred Violence), the next day while shopping at the grocery store, I noticed an Easter basket titled: Combat Theme Easter Basket. It contained soldiers, guns & a bomber plane. So much for the Prince of Peace."