A Letter to the Congregation

Remarks from Ben Outen, Organist & Choirmaster, at the Annual Meeting

Dear Friends,

Ben Outen, Organist & Choirmaster

Ben Outen, Organist & Choirmaster

I wish that I could be in two places today. I am celebrating my niece’s wedding and am also celebrating with you the contract for a new Fisk organ for St. Peter’s. For me, this has been a sixteen-year process the outcome of which I am confident will make a dramatic difference in the beauty of worship and opportunities for outreach at St. Peter’s. It seems especially appropriate that today I am at a wedding, one of the happiest of Episcopal liturgies, one of St. Peter’s greatest community services and an occasion that will be vigorously enhanced time and time again by the new Fisk organ.

The easiest decision of the organ committee was that the new organ be an instrument for worship supporting our enthusiastic congregational singing and creating atmospheres for worship ranging from the solemnity of Good Friday to the tenderness of Christmas Eve to the exuberance of Easter Day.

Having studied and worked for some time now with the tonal design team of the Fisk Company, I am confident of their sensitivity to our needs and their ability to achieve our goals. I am excited by the specifications of our new instrument and know that it will meet St. Peter’s needs with artistry and reliability for decades and perhaps centuries.

It is my strong belief that St. Peter’s will benefit from this instrument in ways that exceed our imagination: creating unity every time we sing together; developing evangelism and motivation; giving sweetness in times of joy, solace in times of grief. It is my stronger belief that this instrument will be a witness to St. Peter’s commitment to weekly powerful prayer and praise, the longtime inspiration for this congregation’s distinguished outreach.

Years ago when I was in children’s choir, I learned a hymn that is indelibly printed on my mind entitled “Give of your best to the Master.” St. Peter’s new instrument is another way to stand up for and proclaim the Gospel boldly, an offering of our best, calling from us our best for generations to come. I offer you my thanks for supporting the music ministry of St. Peter’s and encouraging its continued excellence and commitment by your example.