“Music by Women Composers” has deep roots

Our choir director and organist, Naomi Shiga, talks about how her experiences in music have shaped her choices of composers and performers for the upcoming concert:
Happy Easter! Spring is here, a time of new beginnings. In keeping up with events in the news and culture at large, this spring it seems that many are especially hungry for newness of thought and action. I’ve been especially moved by those in the #MeToo movement, and the March for Our Lives protests held widely last month. Perhaps some of you in our chapter were involved. For me it was wonderful to see children who don’t even have the right to vote yet engaged, raising their voices in hope to protect the lives of children in our time. I feel like that we can see a better future through their actions. 
All of this seems far afield from music. But it is not. When I was 19, I moved to Boston where I spent my first 7 years of life in the United States. Even though I am foreign (my English was much worse then now) and female, the community I found in Boston was made up of people with creative mindsartists, writers, musicians, philosophers—and in my time amongst them I never experienced any kind of segregation. Of course, maybe I was too young and naive to notice anything yet, but I was truly impressed with peoples aim in communicating through art and music removed from barriers, preconceptions, and prejudice. When I played music, there was an air that that was all that was needed to communicate.
As a student I had a number of strong female instructors who served as wonderful role models. Through their teaching I learned of the the predominance of the patriarchy in the history of Western music. It is unavoidable. But I was fortunate to be studying at a time when scholarship was reexamining the role of women in music. Today we have a much better picture of the contributions of women in the past, and a more open environment for female performers and composers. A simple Wikipedia search on “women in music” is revealing. Yet the playing field is still not entirely even. As I meet female colleagues in conversation, both in person and through social media, issues of inequality in hiring and salaries, and unfair treatment of pregnant women and mothers of young children remain a challenge. Likewise, revelations of sexual abuse of both men and women in the world of classical music show that we are not immune from trends in the culture at large. In the years since my time as a student in Boston, I too have experienced bias, prejudice, and inequality in my life as a musician, and so I feel strongly that it is important for each of us to raise our voices, to demand a higher ethical standard. Ultimately music is about communication, and when barriers are removed and we can truly hear one another honestly, great art can flourish.
On April 29 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, I am playing a concert with two fabulous female musicians, Houston Symphony cellist, Shino Hayashi and Noel Burns, principal oboist with our Tacoma Symphony. Together we will present a program of music composed by female composers. We were students at one point, but now we are all mother-musicians and we decided that we would like to do this at this moment. Just like today’s youth marching with the wonderful message that we should protect them and future generations, we would like to do something for women now and for women in the future. In preparing this concert, each of us is finding great depth and beauty in the repertoire and we are eager to learn more of these and other women composers. It is a repertoire we are discovering together and are looking forward to sharing. Just last week I played a number of pieces for church services at St. Andrew’s, and many people commented how much they enjoyed the music. I hope you can make it, and even bring a friend or two to our concert.
Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy the beauty of Tacoma in bloom. Spring is all around!

The Lord is risen indeed!

Our beautiful church was filled with joyous hymns and happy families, as we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior at two services on Easter Sunday.
Fr. Martin delivered a message of hope, reminding us in a series of images and stories from scripture and from life, how much the bare branches of winter and hard times of life can become the source of blossoms and hope.
Rev. Meghan presided at 8:00, and Fr. Ed proclaimed the Easter Gospel at 10:00.

After both services, the hospitality teams provided beautiful spreads for our visitors, and kids were racing around Puddicombe Hall, searching out the last remaining Easter eggs.

St. Andrew’s is about open doors and community. If you liked what you experienced on Sunday, come and visit us again!

Final Organ Concert to feature women composers and performers

This year’s final performance of St. Andrew’s Organ Concert Series will be held Sunday, April 29th at 3pm.

The program will feature works for organ, oboe and cello,  composed by women and performed by a trio of outstanding musicians: Noelle Burns, Shino Hayashi, and Naomi Shiga.

Mark your calendar for this not-to-be-missed event and always popular after-concert reception.

The Lord is risen indeed!

Last night we kindled the Pascal Candle from our courtyard bonfire and then heard some of the greatest stories from our scriptures, as St. Andrew’s community and friends kept watch until the Good News arrived. Come join us this morning at 8:00 or 10:00 for a  joyous Easter service!

St. Andrew’s to host ten congregations for a moving community service

“The Cross as a challenge to the world’s power” will be the theme for this Friday, March 30, noon service, as Christian congregations from across the area will gather to celebrate Jesus’s power to forgive, to give of oneself, and to listen.

The following congregations are co-sponsors:

  1. Fircrest Presbyterian Church
  2. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Tacoma
  3. Grace Baptist Church, Tacoma
  4. Greater Heights Church of God in Christ, Tacoma
  5. Mason United Methodist Church, Tacoma
  6. Mount Cross Lutheran Church, University Place
  7. Neighborhood Church (Assemblies of God), University Place
  8. Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fircrest
  9. Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Tacoma
  10. Saint Joseph-Saint John Episcopal Church, Lakewood
  11. United Church in University Place (United Church of Christ / United Methodist)

Three speakers will offer brief reflections on Jesus’ way of living:

  • Pastor Dave Roberts, Grace Baptist church – The power to forgive
  • Pastor Cathlynn Law, United Church in University Place – The power to give of oneself
  • Pastor Meghan Mullarkey, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church – The power to listen

We will also be singing some of the great, old hymns! Please join us and bring a friend!

For more information, contact Pastor Martin Yabroff at St. Andrew’s (253-225-5128).

St. Andrew’s offers eleven encounters with Jesus during Holy Week

We throw our doors wide-open to all, beginning on Palm Sunday, March 25, for a moving series of services and studies that allow you to experience the incredible story of our Savior! Please join us and bring a friend!

Holy Week Services

Still time to experience Jean Tudor art exhibit, “A Song of Creation”

A Song of Creation, a Biblical canticle in Anglican and Roman Catholic liturgy depicting glory of Creation, has been depicted by artist Jean Tudor in enamel on copper as 17 dramatically colored plaques. This stunning work is on display at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church through March (during Lent). It is in the Church by the Baptismal Font.  (Jean Tudor is the creator of our new Celtic Cross in the parish Columbarium.)

Jean Tudor’s calling is as an enamellist working with glass, metal and a kiln. She has taught workshops here and abroad and her work has been included in exhibitions in the USA, Germany, Spain, Chile, Japan, Mexico and France. Jean teaches workshops at home and at the Tacoma Metal Arts Center, and regularly teaches enameling in the Summer and the October programs at the Grünewald Guild, an art/faith center in the Cascade Mountains where she has been named a Guild Master. She is married to a retired Episcopalian minister whose work has led them to live on the West coast, the East coast, the Midwest, and in Colombia. Jean is now back “home” in Western Washington.

About this installation, the artist writes: “The Benedicite, Omnia Opera Domini depicts aspects of this song of praise which is included in The Prayerbook of the Episcopal Church within the Morning Prayer service. The Song of the Three Young Men sung by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego while in the fiery furnace contains such beautiful imagery. In a way it parallels the Genesis creation story. But this is Creation up and running, and the song invites all of God’s Creation to bless God and magnify God forever. It sweeps through the galaxies with its changing imagery provided by Hubble photos. It tells of the variety of weather, and the rhythm of darkness and light as portrayed by Mercator maps with lines that move as the new day dawns. The song brings to mind Creation that always continues, with all sorts and conditions of humans helping in their small ways with the making of their tools and artifacts, and their creative ideas. And it calls on all, past and present, to praise and magnify the Lord. What a magnificent invitation!”

The song of Creation may be found in our Book of Common Prayer as Canticles 1 and 12 (pages 47 & 88).

St. Andrew’s Youth to attend Black Panther

As part of St. Andrew’s celebration of Black History Month, our Youth Group will enjoy pizza with all the trimmings this Sunday for lunch, courtesy of Don Bishop, and then journey to the AMC Lakewood  to catch the 2:00 PM showing of the acclaimed superhero film Black Panther.

The film, based on a comic-book superhero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, tells the story of T’Challa, king and protector of the fictional African nation called Wakanda. Along with possessing enhanced abilities achieved through ancient Wakandan rituals of drinking the heart shaped herb, T’Challa also relies on his proficiency in science, rigorous physical training, hand-to-hand combat skills, and access to wealth and advanced technology to combat his enemies.

Although there is some resonance with the radical Black Panther Party of the Sixties, this film evokes a world that black audiences are embracing as a positive cultural icon for black experiences in the U.S. Please read this article from Christianity Today to get some idea of the film’s impact.

If your child is interested in joining this outing, contact Sunshine DeGennaro, our youth leader.

Friend Mark on Facebook for Lent!

This week our Facebook-reading of Mark’s Gospel focuses on Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the amazing events that follow. This is the perfect time to jump in and follow the tragic and transcendent story of Jesus’s death and resurrection as Easter approaches.

Lent is traditionally a time when Christians adopt a devotional practice to help focus on their relationship with God. One of the ways we encourage that at St. Andrew’s is to read through one of the Gospels, and this year we are doing this together–online!

Each morning in Lent a portion from Mark’s Gospel will be posted to our Facebook page. You are invited to read it there and discuss it with others in the comments section of each post.

Hear the Gospel truth from Mark every day during Lent and see what happens in your heart!

(We thank Matthew Moravec for our postings from Mark.)

Racism in America: My experience by Sandi Dick

On January 20, 1970, I arrived at JFK Airport in New York. This was my first trip out of my country, Jamaica. The population in Jamaica almost 93.0 percent black, so I was surprised at the number of whites at the airport. I was also apprehensive about how I would be treated, as it was less than two years since Martin Luther King was murdered. While in New York, I completed high school and one year of college but never encountered any racial or cultural situations.

In 1974, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and was transferred to Fort McClellan, Alabama for Basic Training. From October, the month I arrived, until the day I graduated in mid- December, I never left the Post. The black soldiers were advised to remain on base, as there had been assaults on military women, but especially black women. For the first time I began to understand what it was to be afraid because I was black. It’s been 48 years since I arrived in the U.S., and I am an American. I have encountered many incidents of racism and other “isms, not only in the military, but also in the Episcopal Church.

Adapted from Sandi  Dick’s  story
in the February Tartan.
Sandi will facilitate
the February  12 workshop on Ijeoma Oluo!