This Sunday, we’re excited to welcome flutist Anne Kim as our guest musician. Anne recently relocated from New York to the Bay Area. Renowned for her impeccable technique and deeply moving warm tone, she’ll be joining our choir as a guest flutist, adding richness to our harmonies with her exceptional talent. In line with this week’s Gospel Reading, the choir will present Richard Donn’s “God So Loved,” an original setting of John 3:16. This piece features a captivating ascending melody complemented by a descending bass line that underpins the harmonic framework. Our very own Robin will deliver a stunning soprano solo, interweaving homophonic and gentle contrapuntal elements within the choir. Additionally, Anne’s flute accompaniment adds the perfect touch, making this a piece you’ll want to revisit time and time again.

Ms. Kim will also grace us with her offering of Georges Bizet’s Menuet from L’Arlésienne Suite No.2 as a Prelude, and Johan Peter Emilius’ Preludium for Flöite og Orgel, HartW 57 during the communion, accompanied by Jung Jin. Below, you’ll find a brief profile of Ms. Kim:

“Flutist Anne Kim has showcased her talents as a soloist, orchestral player, chamber musician, and also as a flute repair specialist. She has graced prestigious stages such as the Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center in New York, and the Seoul Arts Center in Korea. Anne earned her undergraduate degree from Yonsei University and her Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Professor Michael Parloff.”

I trust that her offering will deeply resonate with you, providing a moment to once again contemplate the sacred love that our Lord has graciously given us. (From Music Director, Jung Jin Kim)

Jung Jin

I’m thrilled to introduce our guest cellist for upcoming Sunday’s worship service, August Lee. His presence promises to elevate our musical experience with his masterful cello performances. During the service, the choir will present Richard Donn’s “Lamb,” featuring a captivating solo cello that intertwines seamlessly with the choir’s sensitive vocal writing. Augmenting this musical tapestry, we’ll also hear strains of a 4/4 rendition of “Just as I Am,” enhancing the Lenten message with nuanced control of texture, dynamics, and timbre.

Mr. Lee will grace us with his exquisite cello melodies, accompanying the choir. Furthermore, he will enchant us with Benedetto Marcello’s Largo from Sonata for Violoncello and Continuo No. 1 in F Major as the prelude, and J. S. Bach’s Choral ‘Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,’ BWV 639 during communion, alongside Jung Jin. Below is a brief profile of Mr. Lee:

“August Jong Hyun Lee is a professional classical cellist, educator, and conductor. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In addition to his solo career, Mr. Lee is a dedicated teacher and conductor. He teaches private students and conducts the Valley Church Youth Orchestra, the Silicon Valley Korean Chamber Orchestra, the Tri-Valley Youth Orchestra, and the Oikos Community Orchestra. Mr. Lee is also an active performer. He is a member of the Celeste Stella Trio, a resident musician at the San Francisco Presidio Chapel, and performs in concert series at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. Mr. Lee is a passionate and talented musician dedicated to sharing his love of music with others. He is an asset to the music community and an inspiration to his students and colleagues.”

Our Music Ministry remains dedicated to inviting accomplished guest instrumentalists to enhance our worship services, and we look forward to sharing more updates with you soon. Thank you for your continued support and interest. (from Music Director, Jung Jin Kim)

Jung Jin

Houston, Texas 2023 – a Report from FLC member Joe Haletky

Every three or so years, the ELCA’s Global Missions Office sponsors a gathering of all the South and Central American and Caribbean Lutheran Churches and their US companion Synods.  This meeting is superficially similar to the Encuentro, a triennial gathering called by the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod, inviting all of its Mission partners from around the world to evaluate the programs of the SLS over the previous three years and to plan for the next three years, except that this meeting is called by the ELCA to evaluate its companion synod relationships with its Western Hemisphere partners and to plan for the next triennial.

I attended the meeting before last in 2016 in Lima, Peru. This time we were in Houston, Texas, and at Camp Tejas, a bible camp a two hour drive to the west near Giddings, Texas.  We opened with worship and dinner the evening of October 31, and then had three quite full days of meetings on the theme “Reconnect, Renew and Rise Again.”  On November 1, we had an opening discussion of “Where have we been? What has brought us here today?”  Then we departed for Camp Tejas for two more sessions reflecting on the last three years and what might have been lost during the time of pandemic. After dinner, there was time for fellowship.

On Thursday, Nov. 2, we reviewed our joint work that has continued, changes that have occurred, and renewed best practices that need to be sustained.  After lunch, we discussed the theological framework behind “Accompaniment” and our engagement with the Companion Synod Programs with our many different partners.

On Friday, Nov. 3, we discussed new ways of engagement with our mission partners. As might be expected, there were many different models of engagement to discuss, and I think that we all were introduced to new possibilities in our various relationships. Then we met in smaller groups with our mission partners. At the end of the morning, we closed with worship and got back on the busses back to the hotel in Houston.

Our Synod was represented by both me an Sue Hertless, who has been active with our relationships with both El Salvador and Rwanda, and who also attended the Encuentro in El Salvador last year. Our newly elected Bishop, Jeff Johnson, began his new position November 1, and thus could not make this trip.  We saw quite a few old friends and made many new ones in the process.

It was an exhausting trip, and I was not at my best physically, still recovering from a broken hip and cataract surgery last spring. Sue and I will give a fuller report to our Global Missions Team after the first of the year.

Joseph Haletky
Chair, Global Missions Advocacy Team
Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA

Image: “This is at the Bible Camp, and it is members of our El Salvador connection, including Sue Hertless from our synod, the Milwaukee Synod Bishop (the tall man in the middle), Pastor Christian Chavaria from El Salvador (to the Bishop’s right), and some gimpy old man (me!) on the end.” – Joe