East Syracuse church performs traditional Gregorian chant with a twist
Jared Shepard isn’t afraid to go against the norm. When he was hired as the Minster of Music and Organist at St. Matthew’s Church in East Syracuse two years ago, he was already experienced as a classical musician, having studied with pupils of legendary Juilliard pianists Irwin Freundlich and Eduard Steuermann. Though his experience in sacred music was limited, in the two years he’s been developing the music program, he has successfully made St. Matthews different from nearly all other churches in Central New York by performing Gregorian chant: a type of music that was once a staple in the Catholic Church, but is now rarely performed.
One Sunday every year, Cicero United Methodist Church takes a break from traditional services and sermons and instead encourages parishioners to go out into the Cicero community and make a difference. “It’s something that the United Methodist Church nationally started to remind us that sometimes we need to worship with our hands,” said Rev. Rebecca Laird, associate pastor at the church. “It’s not just about coming to a building and being here on Sunday morning and worshipping that way. It’s about more than that. It’s about taking the love that we get from that and going out into our community and using it to better our community and taking God’s grace and sharing it with anyone that we meet.” The church held its fourth Be the Church Sunday June 2, conducting a variety of projects from packing goodie bags for the Military Appreciation Room at the airport to making lap robes for patients at Van Duyn Home Hospital to baking banana bread for the homeless to doing home renovations and garden projects for a Sudanese family on Syracuse’s North side.
On May 19, the day of Pentecost, St. James Episcopal church in Skaneateles church held only one mass, an abbreviated 9 a.m. service, and then sent out more than 100 people clad in matching red T-shirts to participate in various community service projects.
The 62nd Annual National Day of Prayer will take place Thursday, May 2. Millions will unite in prayer at thousands of events from coast to coast. In honor of this day, the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Cazenovia, 27 Albany St., will be open for prayer and quiet meditation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 2.
Skaneateles youth participate in 30-hour juice fast, raise money for South Sudan
About 50 local youth participated in a 30-hour juice fast last week to raise money and awareness for poor living conditions and poverty abroad.
International Guitar duo Loren and Mark will be returning to the Grace Episcopal Church for an afternoon of world class music at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28.
The EJ Thomas United Methodist Men will host a tribute to Rev. Wade Jarrett at noon Saturday, April 27, at Little Utica United Methodist Church. A free luncheon will be followed by the movie, “A Man Called Peter.” All proceeds from the love offering will go to Watson Homestead and Camp Casowasco, two of Rev. Jarrett’s favorite charities.
The First Presbyterian Church of Baldwinsville continued its 200th Anniversary celebration with the hanging of a banner on the south side of its steeple at the corner of Elizabeth and Oswego streets on Friday, March 29.
Little Utica United Methodist Church will hold a Holy Land Tour Information Night at 7 p.m. Friday, April 19.
St Peter’s Episcopal Church, located at 10 Mill Street in Cazenovia, welcomes all to worship during Holy Week and Easter. The Maundy Thursday service will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28.
Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunday programs announced
On Maundy Thursday, March 28, the Cazenovia Presbyterian Church will hold a Service of Tenebrae at 7:30 p.m. The service will be centered on a choral and narrative piece titled “Light in the Darkness,” by Patrick Liebergen. The First Presbyterian Church celebration service of Easter will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 31.
The Youth Group at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Baldwinsville recently helped pack meals to be donated to Kids Care, An Outreach, Inc., that were distributed to local food pantries in the Syracuse area. The youth packed 3,400 meals during the event, which will help feed 20,832 people.
Members are working to furnish an apartment by April 27
The average stay in a refugee camp is 17 years, and members of St. Anne’s Church in Manlius are doing their part to bring that number down. The Refugee Project Committee at the church has been working since January to collect everything from tissues, to sofas to silverware to furnish an apartment on Syracuse’s North Side for a refugee family to move in by early May.
Catholics worldwide rejoiced when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became the new pope on March 13.
Wishes for a happy new year may be three months in the past for many, but for the Persian community, that celebration is just around the corner. This year, not only does March 20 mark the first day of spring, but also the Persian new year, 1392. An estimated 300 residents in Central New York, according to Mehrzad Boroujerdi, professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, will celebrate Nowruz, the name for the holiday. Boroujerdi, also director of the Middle Eastern studies program at Syracuse University, is the organizer of this year’s local Persian New Year party.