Jazz Vespers service at Presbyterian Church

| 29 Sep 2011 | 02:44

    West Milford - Jazz in church? Why not. Churches have been trying to reach out and incorporate the music of our times in a variety of ways. For three years, West Milford Presbyterian Church has done a Jazz Vespers service in the spring and during the Christmas season. It is a marvelous experience of worship. This Sunday, April 26, it will happen again. The West Milford Presbyterian Church will have this unique worship experience at 7:30 p.m. “Jazz incorporates the rhythms that live in our soul,” said Rev. Dr. Janet Macgregor-Williams, of the West Milford Presbyterian Church. “It has the power to heal and inspire, as it captures our hope.” The musical tradition is about the task of giving voice to the hopes, dreams, frustrations, and pain that expresses human experience, she said. Jazz is the musical incense that collects and carries the prayers of a people. The creative collaboration between liturgist and jazz artist come together seeking reconciliation. Jazz reminds us who we are and where we have come from, while inspiring us into the reality of who we can become in God. Jazz is the music of the social gospel of Jesus Christ. Vespers is an early evening prayer service. It is a time to set aside the tasks of the day and come into God’s presence. Music has always played a significant role in vespers services, as it is often through our music that we learn to relax and give voice to our prayers. “West Milford is fortunate to have some very talented jazz musicians who live in the community,” Rev. Macgregor-Williams said. So come, hear local artists, including Mitch Schecter, a consummate jazz pianist with a long-established teaching practice in town; Kent Smith, on trumpet, who is often on the road with The Rolling Stones; Eric Goletz, a jazz trombonist who played with Dizzy Gillespie and others; and Bob Magnuson, who has played saxophone on the sound tracks of hundreds of records and commercials. There will be a free-will offering to benefit Delaney Brown, a two-year-old from West Milford who is undergoing treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer, a very rare cancer. Delaney is scheduled for surgery April 24. “We are delighted that several local businesses-P and W Excavating, LeBeaute Lounge, Jazzercise, and Jewelry Repair Co.-have sponsored the service so that all of the offering can go to help Delaney Brown,” said Rev. Macgregor-Williams. The worship service is informal, she added, and this would be an excellent opportunity to invite family, friends and neighbors. The focus will be on some of the hymns and music of our childhood as we celebrate the gift of childhood. For more information, call the church office at: 973-728-3081. The West Milford Presbyterian Church is located at 1452 Union Valley Road in West Milford.