Michael Conley

Dear Choir

Dear Choir,

This is the happiest note I have had the pleasure of writing in over a year. We are about to start singing together again, and I’m sure each of you join me in a desire to dance around in celebration! In fact, we are a mere 10 days away from our first rehearsal in more than a year. Hallelujah! Of course, what makes this happy reunion possible is the miracle of our mutual vaccination. So, before we go any further, I must be very clear that ONLY fully vaccinated members will be able to sing with the choir until further notice. More on that subject further along…see below.

But before we get into the specifics of that, let me give you a schedule as I currently conceive of it, understanding that as always in this strange time, everything is subject to change and/or adaptation. As a way of easing back into our former routines, we will start with a slightly shorter rehearsal for the summer months:

  • Chancel Choir Summer Schedule (as of 06/08/21)
  • Thursday, 06/17 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Thursday, 06/24 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 06/27 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • We will then take three weeks off, while I finish up my tenure as worship video-editor. Thursday rehearsals
    resume on July 22nd.
  • Thursday, 07/22 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 07/25 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • Thursday, 07/29 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 08/01 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • Thursday, 08/05 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 08/08 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • Thursday, 08/12 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 08/15 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • Thursday, 08/19 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 08/22 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • Thursday, 08/26 Rehearsal (7:00-9:00)
  • Sunday, 08/29 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)
  • Thursday, 09/02 NO REHEARSAL
  • Sunday, 09/05 Rehearsal (8:45-9:45) Worship (10:00)

Starting Thursday, September 9th our regular rehearsal schedule resumes, 7:00-9:30 pm. I have not yet determined when our “notes” rehearsals on Sundays will resume, or when we will be having our first concert, but those and other questions will hopefully be sorted out very soon. Stay tuned!

Our first service back on June 27th will be a very special day for many reasons, including our singing together for the first time, our singing with our new Pastor Marci in the building for the first time, Victor’s last time leading a service before his 3-month sabbatical begins, AND, our beloved Phoebe will be coming up to sing with us for one last time as soprano soloist/section leader. I don’t know about you, but I will have a box of Kleenex in my pocket!!

As always, my “door” is always open (or at least my phone and my email!), so if you have any questions or concerns about the coming days and weeks, please don’t hesitate to reach out and I will do my best to listen and respond.

In joyful anticipation,

Michael Conley

More to Explore

Talking with Kids About the Order of Worship in the Bulletin.

If I visited Calvary for the first time and had not been to a Presbyterian church before, I would want someone to help me understand what I was doing throughout the order of worship. This blog provides an example of how some churches annotate their bulletins so children, youth, and adults can learn more about why we choose to read, sing, pray, and listen at certain times during the worship service. Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church (www.hbpres.net) in Louisville, Kentucky offers a model of how to explain the order of worship. Being transparent about how we worship together is in line with our reformed tradition. We can read and interpret the Bible ourselves, as well as worship and say prayers with our own bodies. Many years ago, a priest would do all of this while the congregation sat or stood. It is important for parents to share with their children that all people have the freedom to contribute to a worship service. By singing, listening, praying, and sharing, we get to know each other and witness each other’s talents and inspiring work. Fellowship and education events are only part of the ways that we form our faith together. Participating in worship is what binds us together each Sunday, so that we can support each other at or outside of church during the week.

Support Trans Kids

Calvary Presbyterian Church continues to support transgender youth and adults. March 2023 is Transgender Awareness Month. We show our continuing support through messages such as, “Trans Lives Matter,” “Believe Trans Kids,” “Support Trans Kids,” and “Protect Trans Kids.” This blog will offer some insight into Presbyterian and San Francisco organizations that actively support and advocate for LGBTQI+ people. I hope that you will take time to read through these resources. There is hope. So many inspired people of all ages are working together for freedom, safety, and love. Now that I am raising two teens I have come to more clearly understand the context and reality that LGBTQI+ youth live in every day. It is crucial to support the growth and development of transgender children and youth who sense that their “gender identity does not correspond with, or sit comfortably with, the sex they were registered at birth.” That is the definition of transgender offered by Twinkl, an education website for children ages preschool to 8th grade. See more definitions at the end of this blog. Transgender children, youth, young adults, adults, and senior adults do not want to be "othered" as they are children of God. We want to believe, support, and protect them, so that they can live safely and freely without fear and shame. When adults do not see or support children or youth as they are, the risks of gender dysphoria and youth suicide increase. God created all of us in Their image. May we have the courage to send out Jesus’ message of love and acceptance to ourselves and all people.

2022 Annual Report