Jazz Vespers service coming to West Milford Presbyterian Church

| 12 Apr 2012 | 12:37

    WEST MILFORD — All are invited as the congregation of West Milford Presbyterian Church gathers for a Jazz Vespers Service on Sunday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m.

    “Jazz in Church?” you may be asking. Churches have been trying to reach out and incorporate the music of our times in a variety of ways. For five years the West Milford Presbyterian Church has done a Jazz Vespers service several times a year.

    "It is a marvelous experience of worship, in a new way," said Pastor Dr. Janet Macgregor-Williams.

    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, according to Rev. Janet.

    Jazz is a perfect fit for Easter. In New Orleans the Jazz band reminds the people that death doesn’t have the final say and that the grave cannot keep them down. "Help us celebrate Easter in a new way this year," Rev. Janet said.

    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 music that we learn to relax and give voice to our prayers.

    West Milford artists Mitch Schecter, a consummate jazz pianist with a long-established teaching practice in town, Eric Goletz, a jazz trombonist who played with Dizzy Gillespie and played for Broadway shows, and Bob Magnuson, who has played saxophone on the sound tracks of hundreds of records and commercials, as well as on Broadway, will perform the music for the service.

    There will be a free will offering to help those in Henryville, Indiana recover from the recent tornados.

    The worship service is informal and all are invited. The focus will be on some of the hymns and music of 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.