From the Dean

Here we are again, ready to launch a new season of AGO programs! Last year was remarkable for increased attendance, strong financial support and the excellent quality of our monthly events. I hope this year continues that trend.

We begin on Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 pm with another silent film presentation by Tom Hoehn at First United Methodist Church of Clearwater. This year, the movie will be “The Circus” by Charlie Chaplin. It is a 74 minute comedy from 1928 which won a special Academy Award for “versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing.” Those who wish can eat together at O’Keefe’s Restaurant before the show. We have a reservation for 5:30 pm this year so that there is no rush to make it to the church on time. Those of you who have heard Tom accompany a silent film know that this is truly his “superpower.” It is an event not to be missed.

On a serious note, I imagine your church has probably had a few “church security” meetings over the last couple years as attacks at places of worship have become more common. It can be upsetting to have to think about and talk about these things, but if your employer hasn’t initiated this type of planning, I encourage you to bring up the topic. We now have room numbers posted inside each room of my church so that persons can identify their location over the phone to police or family members. We have discussed how to quickly evacuate the sanctuary and fellowship hall under different scenarios. These preparations are important for other types of emergencies too, such as a fire. As musicians, we understand the importance of thorough preparation and practice.

All the best to you as the fall season begins. Take a deep breath, smile, and thank God for your ability to make music and worship a powerful force in your community.

Bradley Swope, Dean