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Music Director's Monthly Newsletter Message

September 2008 - Music Notes

Music Notes by Jessica Baier

My Continuing Education Experience

In July, I took a trip to the Poconos for the Area II Read and Ring Seminar. I was chosen to be the Betty Garee Scholarship winner, entitling me to attend this Seminar with all expenses paid. I took the Beginning Director’s Track with Nancy Lutz (Mt. Lebanon Methodist Church). This course enabled me to reflect on this past year as being a first time handbell director and to use that experience as a point of growth professionally.The class also allowed me the privilege of meeting fellow beginning directors. The ability to reflect on our experiences together was exhilarating. The clinicians that I had the opportunity to meet and work with were more than helpful in answering my questions. Their ability to share new ideas and foster collaborations was one of the highlights of the seminar.

New Wilmington Missionary Conference

In July, I also took a trip to Westminster college for the 103rd New Wilmington Missionary Conference (NWMC).  NWMC looks to deepen the missionary spirit, seeking fulfillment of the Great Commission, with a focus on youth ages 12-25.  I have been attending NWMC for most of my life, as has my whole family (my grandmother has been attending since she was 17).  This year I had the opportunity to be a high school girl’s counselor.  I was in charge of 10 beautiful high school girls—having one-on-one conversations with each throughout the week, devotions every night, and being there for emotional and spiritual support. There were about 120 high school students overall. Every day we attended Bible Hour, Morning Meeting, Vespers/Devotions, and Evening Meeting. For each there was a designated speaker that focused on our theme verse for the week wich was:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…” Luke 4:18.

One of the main highlights of the week was a set-up refugee camp, where the high school staff initiated a simulation of capturing the high school students and treating them as if they were Christian refugees in a third world country.  This was a great chance for the students to get a glimpse of how Christians are treated around the world.  We also had the option of sleeping in the refugee camp overnight. Another girl’s counselor and I led this group—it was a very interesting night. Being a Missionary Conference, we obviously focus on missions throughout the world, but the thing I have learned most by attending is that you don’t have to go to a third world country to make a difference.  It is possible to do mission work in your own hometown.   

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

~Luke 4:18-19