On Sunday, August 30, we celebrated Betsy Calhoun and her (first!) 30 years of service to the St. John’s Music Ministry. The special Service of Evening Prayer was shared with the world – online – at 4:00 p.m. and drew friends from far and wide. The virtual choir that premiered the new setting of the “St. John’s Service” evening canticles by Richard Webster included current and former choir members of St. John’s and First Presbyterian Church, as well as community members and colleagues from the Royal School of Church Music in America around the country, totaling 48 voices.
The service and readings were led by over 25 former choristers who sang in the St. John’s chorister program over the past 30 years, all praying together “the choristers’ prayer” at the end of the service: “Bless, O Lord, us Thy servants who minister in Thy temple. Grant that what we sing with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe in our hearts we may show forth in our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Betsy wished to thank everyone who helped put this special service together in her honor:
To the Congregation of St. John’s:
Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful service of Evening Prayer and the reception last Sunday, celebrating my 30th anniversary at St. John’s. It is difficult to imagine the amount of time and preparation given by the many people involved—all those faces on the screen! The canticles by Richard Webster commissioned and composed were incredibly beautiful and especially meaningful, thanks to the generosity and kindness of this congregation. As I tried to say through my tears at the reception, I love you, the people, of St. John’s.