First United Methodist Church of Sacramento reprises its blues workshop and hymn festival this month, with a new format and a new focus that make it a new experience. "Singing to God: The Old, the New, the Borrowed, and the Blues Workshop and Hymn Festival" will take place Saturday, October 24, with Mark Unbehagen serving as clinician.
Workshop participants will explore and learn seven songs from across the millennia, and another seven that were written within the last three years, and prepare pieces for use in a worship service open to the public that evening. The service will include the premiere of an original anthem composed by Unbehagen.
You are invited to join the congregation for the worship service if you cannot attend the workshop.
Unbehagen, originally from the New Orleans area, studied Sacred Music at SMU's Perkins School of Theology in Dallas and recently received a Masters in Christian Spirituality from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. He now lives in El Cerrito, California.
He says he has learned and continues to learn much through serving local churches in music ministry, worship, and liturgy. Mark's journey has led him to Methodist, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, MCC, UCC, and Presbyterian Churches, where he continues to be amazed by the many ways people worship God.
"We are joined across time in songs before God, and also across traditions," he says. "Across traditions, there have been many movements of song, as there are and have been many 'reasons' for worship . . . This experience focuses on songs that are directed to God, without negating the need for songs that either talk about God, [or] that are focused on the community, or outreach, or social justice."
The registration fee for the workshop is $30 per person. Participants will receive a complete packet of music; you are asked to indicate on the registration form if you would like the music mailed to you, or if you prefer to pick it up at the workshop.
Call Terry Haug at 916.446.5025 for more information.
First UMC is located at 2100 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95816.