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Henry Brinton, June 18 2021

COVID worship updates and staff transitions: June 18, 2021

Dear FPC Members and Friends,

NIH Director Francis Collins, a scientist and a Christian, recently said, “We asked God for help with COVID-19, and vaccines are the answer to that prayer.” He is absolutely right!

In response to the progress we are making as a nation and as a congregation, the session voted on Tuesday to take a step forward in relaxing some of the Covid restrictions now in place at FPC.

Beginning Sunday, June 20, 2021:

If you have questions or concerns about these decisions, please call me at 703-273-5300 or email me at hgbrinton@gmail.com. If you have not yet returned to gathered worship, I would love to hear about how you are doing, and what factors would bring you back.

I also want to inform you of an important staff transition in the life of our church. In May, the session received a letter from organist Grace Cho, saying that she would be resigning as organist of FPC this summer, because her family is planning to move to New York.

She wrote her letter with a heavy heart, saying, “FPC has been a great place to work but more importantly, I gained a family here.  The community of FPC has been a source of guidance, inspiration, and comfort.  I am truly sad to have to leave this amazing place, but the distance between Fairfax, VA and New York City is too vast for me to make a weekly trip to continue to serve."

Grace has served us faithfully and well since 2017, as an outstanding musician and also as a treasured member of the FPC staff team. We will miss her a great deal, but we send her forward with our full support.  Grace’s last Sunday will be July 25, at which time we will say farewell and have a reception in her honor.

At the same time, I am delighted to report that session has hired a new organist, Dr. Mickey Terry. Mickey is currently on the faculty at Howard University and has years of experience and an excellent musical background. He will begin on Sunday, August 1.

Mickey served as the organist of Northeastern Presbyterian Church in Washington during his first years in the DC area.  He writes, “My background includes service as an organist for the United Methodist, Baptist, and Episcopal Church; however, for the past 25 years, I have worked principally as a music director and organist in the Roman Catholic Church.  … Currently, I serve as a full-time lecturer on the music faculty of Howard University.  As a part of those duties, I also serve as a faculty accompanist and the accompanist for the Howard University Concert Choir.”

Mickey is a prize-winner in national and international organ competitions, and I invite you to see my article in the current Octagon for more details about his accomplishments.  I know that our congregation will benefit greatly from his offerings on our pipe organ and piano.

I thank God for all of you, for the progress we have made over the past year, and for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Best wishes,

Henry G. Brinton

Written by

Henry Brinton


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