All posts by Jeff Kempe

We Are Family…


Every year we kick off the season with a choir picnic.  Normally graciously hosted by Don and Jessie Adams, this year – because Don had knee surgery – it was hosted by Angela and Steve Wright.  Think of these picnics as a family reunion after a summer away; serial bonding.

This year’s had a twist:  The day before the picnic Steve and Angela’s daughter, Kaylei, was admitted to the hospital with a staff infection.  When asked why she’d continue to host the picnic under those circumstances, Angela, in paraphrase, said this:

“What better way to endure struggle than with family?”


Oh, and:  Kaylei is fully recovered.  And so is Don.

Thanks be to God.

Pictures here.


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Belatedly noted here; it’s been almost three weeks!

But the summer’s over, school’s back in session, the choir worship season begun.  This site’s been redesigned and – suddenly! – there’s lots to talk about.

First:  We have converted our MM 2014 Facebook page to all things Sanctuary Choir.  Under the administration our spectacular organist Jeff Wood – he’s a kid, knows social media! – he’ll cover news, events and everything having to do with worship, concerts and any upcoming events.  Note there’s a permanent link to the page at the right.  (LIKE it!)

Second:  We’ll try not to be redundant here, concentrating instead on personal insights and stories – how music affects our relationship to God and each other – much like we did with our posts from Europe.

Third:  A big Thank You! to Rick Simpson, our de facto church photographer.   (The above is his, taken on September 7.)  He’s graciously offered his pictures for use on both this and our Facebook page.

Lots to come; let the season begin!




Dinner last night with friends from the trip at the beautiful home of Steve and Cathie Conrad.  Nearly four hours of story telling and reminiscing.

Here’s what remains the most remarkable aspect of the trip:  After eleven days together – on planes, in buses, hotels, restaurants and, of course, concerts – all fifty plus of us came back better friends than when we left. Anyone who’s traveled will tell you how unusual – some would say impossible – that is.




When we flew home from our trip, we had a direct flight from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.  That’s the same airport where Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 originated, and is now a repository of flowers and grief for the 298 mothers, fathers and children murdered by Russian separatists.  196 of those were Dutch nationals; as a percentage of the population that’s more than the equivalent of our 9/11.

We grieve for and with you, Friends._1JK4796-1

Photo Flash Drives


Update:  This photo is of Mary Ann immediately after our Singelkerk worship service in Amsterdam.  Orange is the color of the Netherlands.  See post above.


A number of people have asked if it’s possible to upload all the trip pictures to a CD or DVD.  Unfortunately, no; just too much volume to fit on even two DVDs.

I have, however, managed to upload the pictures to an eight gigabyte flash drive.  The flash drives themselves are $5, ordered in bulk from Amazon.  If anyone would like one, let me know then give me a week or two to get them loaded.

Email requests:

Thank you!