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NEXT MEETING – January 29, 2024 “Nog ‘n’ Noels” Calvary United Methodist Church, 971 Beech Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15223

A Note From The Dean…

Holiday Greetings, Pittsburgh Chapter Members and Friends!

In Luke 2.8-14, we read:
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping
watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore
afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in
the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto
you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And
suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward

When he is finished with that last line, Linus turns and address someone
directly: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

These two minutes from A Charlie Brown Christmas bring back memories from my
childhood, and my kid’s childhood. Probably yours, too! Linus sure knew the meaning of

As I compose this month’s article for Pipelines, several radio stations have changed
their formats to “Christmas Music 24/7.” The Sirius XM app on my phone and iPad
added a slew of holiday stations to my list of favorites. People often ask me if I’ve
started listening to any of it yet. They are surprised when I say no. And then I go on to
say that I’ve been working on Advent and Christmas music since around Labor Day!

This is one of the busiest times of the year for those of us who are church musicians.
There are extra – or at least longer – choir rehearsals. Instrumentalists need to be lined
up, and practices scheduled. Extra music to get out – and then re-file after the holidays.
And of course, sanctuaries get a good cleaning and lots of flowers and greenery. (Just
make sure no one waxes your organ bench!)

Through it all, we must remember what Linus said: That’s what Christmas is all about!
May your extra work pay off by filling your congregations and audiences with the peace
and joy that this holiday season brings.

Gloria in Excelsis indeed!

Jeffrey H. Gray