Tates Creek Christian Church

Updates and Insights from Tates Creek Christian Church

Archive for the tag “Worship”

Leaving a Legacy for Christ

When I found about this month’s theme for the Current, I was excited since I am so happy with the legacy of my family.  Both of my grandfathers were elders in their local congregations and my parents met at a church youth rally back in the late 1940’s.  This was the beginning of our family legacy.

My parents attended Bible college together and made a lifelong commitment to go into the ministry.  Through the encouragement of our parents, other family members, and faithful church leaders, all four sons graduated from Cincinnati Christian University and then committed to the ministry.  Most of us started in youth ministry then moved to other areas.  Even though there is a lot of musical talent in my three younger brothers, I was the only one to commit to full time worship ministry.  My younger brothers all continue in full time preaching ministry currently serving in Crittenden, Kentucky, Portsmouth, Ohio, and Lancaster, Ohio.

My father retired from full time preaching ministry in 2008 at the age of 78, but then returned to preach in a church near South Shore, Kentucky, at the age of 80.  Even though only part time at the church, they have grown from 11 attendees on his first Sunday (including my parents!) to 70 or more people worshipping in that church in the country.  My dad will turn 87 in July!

We have traveled as far away as Arizona, Florida, Virginia, and northern Indiana to serve and we are grateful to be within a few hours of each other at this point in life.

When I think about the sermons we have all preached, the baptisms we have been privileged to be a part of, and the thousands of lives touched, I am profoundly overwhelmed with that legacy.  I should mention that I have several cousins and an uncle who have also served in full time ministry.

That is our story, but what about yours?  We each have a story to tell as we seek to multiply the ministry of Tates Creek Christian Church or wherever we may serve.  When we look at the Scriptures, we see that the story did not end with the book of Revelation.  The story continues with us.  That is God’s Plan.  I pray that each of you is leaving a legacy for your family that includes the desire to see each family member a part of God’s family.

Don Seevers

Christ Lives Through Me

One of the solos that I have enjoyed singing for many years is the song, Christ Lives Through Me from the musical, A Good Life, by John W. Peterson & Don Wyrtzen.

The song is based on Galatians 2:20a“I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. “ 

Here are the lyrics:

O glorious, wondrous, matchless truth that in the Word I see—

The risen Savior, glorified, lives out His life in me!

I yield to Him and reckon self as crucified and dead,

So that the life of Christ my Lord may be outlived instead.

Christ lives through me! Christ lives through me!

By the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power, Christ lives through me!

This is the path of power divine for service here below —

The only real, effective way to count for God I know.

‘Tis by the Holy Spirit’s power that He abides with me;

And as I to His Lordship yield He gives me victory!

Christ lives through me! Christ lives through me!

By the Holy Spirit’s indwelling power, Christ lives through me!

This song is a powerful testimony of what can happen in our lives as we yield to the will of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.  We all have so much that has been given to us, but for so many, it seems difficult to make a commitment to use those gifts willingly.  When we do, we become the hands and feet of Christ.  We should live to serve Christ and encourage those who need Him.

We multiply the ministry of Christ and His Church each time we serve others and hopefully that service will prod them to do the same in someone else’s life.  Multiplying our ministry is not always easy, but if we stick with those we are discipling, it can be exciting to see what can happen from our investment in them.

Don Seevers

Upcoming Musical Programs

Composer Mary McDonald Coming to Tates Creek

Please mark your calendars right now to attend our worship services at 9:30 AM and 6:00 PM on April 2.  The outstanding composer and artist, Mary McDonald, will be with us for the entire day.  Mary is one of the premiere choral and keyboard composers in our country.  You have seen her name many times in our bulletin as she has composed or arranged 22 pieces of choral music in our library and our recent Christmas cantata, Jesus! The Advent of the Messiah, was a new work composed by her last year.

In addition to her work as a composer, she is an outstanding pianist, organist, and conductor.  And…Mary is a lot of fun!  She loves to laugh and tell great stories.  More importantly, Mary is a strong Christian and loves to tell the story of Jesus and His love through her musical gifts.  When not traveling, she is involved in a local church music ministry in the Knoxville area.

She will be working with our choir on Saturday, April 1, as we prepare to present her music in our Sunday morning worship and the concert.  Please note the concert will start at 6:00 PM that night!   We have looked forward to Mary’s time with us for a long time and pray that you will do your best to be here and bring friends with you.  We also plan to invite area churches to join us.

Metrognomes Present Their Spring Concert

On May 5, at 7:30 PM, we will host the Metrognomes for their annual spring concert.  Due to a scheduling glitch, they were unable to perform in our recent Christmas Collage, so we hope you will enjoy their spring concert as they present a lot of big band and jazz tunes.  We have developed a special relationship with this excellent band and their director, Doug Oatley, former music teacher at Tates Creek High School.  Doug has recruited many of his outstanding former music students to play in this ensemble.  Our own church member, Willow Cooper has played in the band for several years. Bring a friend and prepare to tap your foot to their rhythms.

Don Seevers

…and a Happy New Year

These words conclude the familiar song we sing at the Christmas season in a concert or when Christmas caroling. I think we often place the emphasis on the lyrics, “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and forget that sharing hope for the new year is also important. We come to the start of another year and those of us who are growing a bit older really do appreciate those “new” years as they seem more precious.
Each new year provides the opportunity to evaluate our life and perhaps make some needed changes. Now, we know we can do that at any time and not wait on another calendar year to roll around, yet the new year does provide time for reflection of the past and setting goals for the future.
As I think of the word “multiply”, I remember the words of the late Roy H. Mays III, when he would often remind us as students at Cincinnati Christian University, that we needed to “multiply our ministry.” This was one of his favorite admonitions. Hearing it over and over again, it would start to sink into the fertile minds of those of us who participated in the university’s music ensemble or Come Alive programs.
Roy wanted to make sure we knew that he expected us to not just go and sing or enjoy fellowship on our school trips, but rather to invest our lives into the teens we visited in churches and camps. It really made us think about our actions around those people. What would they remember about us after we returned to Cincinnati?
As a music professor at CCU and later at Johnson University Florida, I enjoyed investing myself into the lives of many students, but I also realized that my time with these students was limited by time. I only had a certain amount of time with them, then they would graduate. I learned that ministering with people in the local church provided a greater long-term involvement in their lives. It has been enjoyable to look back over 40 years of ministry and see those lives and the fruit they have produced for the Kingdom of Christ.
Multiplying our ministry does take effort and purpose. It does not come easy as it involves our time, patience, and love. But, as I look back over many long-term friendships, that time, patience and love was well worth the effort. We need to keep investing ourselves in others. It is the Biblical plan!

Don Seevers

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

I cannot think of Christmas without associating the event of Christ’s birth with music! Whether it is remembering a children’s concert where those participating are wearing scratchy, uncomfortable costumes while struggling to remember their lines, or listening to a familiar Christmas cantata by the local church choir wearing robes, we can all go back in our memories and fondly remember sharing those experiences with our family and church friends. We all offered our best efforts.
Then, as I grew up, I was accompanying the choir on the piano. That was followed by singing in college choirs and presenting more difficult Christmas music to hundreds of people who made the drive to the city of Cincinnati to enjoy the celebrations provided by all the college choirs and instrumentalists. Again, those are memories engrained in my mind and heart. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.
Now, for the past 40 years, I have been directing choirs and orchestras in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and for the past 12 years in Kentucky. The pleasure of leading those hundreds of singers and instrumentalists fills my heart and soul with joy. In addition, I have enjoyed seeing and listening to countless Christmas concerts presented in churches, orchestra halls, and college campuses as I always try to attend at least two concerts in local venues. Yes, Christmas and music are inseparable for me.
It seems that most people are open to hearing about Jesus and His love through Christmas music! That is why we encourage you to attend our Christmas concerts and more importantly invite friends to join you. You will find most people will join you and they will be blessed. Here are the opportunities for our congregation and friends this year:

Annual Christmas Collage ~ December 11 at 4:00 PM
Including the Worship Choir, T3CPO,
Rejoicing Ringers, Worship Ensemble, and some Special Guests!

Chris-Myth Busters ~ December 18 at 5:30 PM, MMC
Children’s Ministry Presents their Annual Christmas Musical

Christmas Eve Worship ~ December 24 at 4:30 & 6:30 PM
Our services will conclude with communion & candlelight.

Come back on Christmas Day for one worship service at 9:30 AM.

Don Seevers

The Joy of Eating

I think it is no secret that I enjoy eating and it is an activity I share with many others in our church. Of course, churches are known for their fellowship dinners when people bring their “specialty” dishes for all to share. Many of us want those recipes.
Being single, I eat out more than most, although I am finding that eating at home is becoming more of a norm for me. When I do eat out, I quite often sit at the counter since I don’t want to take an entire table that might be needed for a larger group, and usually I can be seated quickly. I enjoy meeting people and sitting at a counter, since one can easily meet and chat with others sitting there. A typical conversation may start with a question such as, “Are you from Lexington?” When it comes to the question, “What do you do for a living?”, then it can get interesting. For instance, most people are surprised when I tell them that I am a worship minister and where I serve. Most people know where our building is located, but have not visited a worship service. If they are using foul language that usually stops when I say the word “minister”! It can also open the door to conversations about the church and if they are members of another church. Most people are kind and appear interested in what I do and I try to inquire about their interests as well.
Taking the risk of sharing what I do can open doors! I remember when I was young and was afraid that someone might ask what I do. How would I answer them? Would I be embarrassed? But, as I grew older, my willingness to be open also grew to the point of being able to openly share that I enjoyed being a worship minister. Getting to know people casually in that environment also gives me the opportunity to invite them to worship with us.
As we approach these messages on the topic, “Eats with Sinners” we must realize that we are all sinners. Jesus is the only One who was not a sinner. So, all of our encounters are with sinners, even though most may be with Christians. We have all sinned, but we also have a wonderful story to share with other sinners as to how our lives were changed when we encountered the Sinless One. What is your story?

Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard.

I love to tell the story! ‘Twill be my theme in glory —
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

Don Seevers

The B’s of Church Members

As I write this article, we as a congregation are about to embark on a journey together, learning or reinforcing what it means to be a church member. Some of us will jump into reading the book I Am a Church Member with enthusiasm, others with a sense of apprehension. Why? Because we may learn that being a church member may warrant change. And lets face it, change in what we think, believe, and do is quite often difficult. I am hoping that we all can fall into the first category and anticipate how we can grow into being a better member of the local church.
I have not yet read the book as I am writing this about 10 days before we start our journey, but please allow me to share a few things I have learned in being a church member since age 9…a long time ago!
B faithful in church attendance. We are finding some alarming statistics regarding church attendance in recent years. Many feel that they are “active” members if they attend a worship service every 4-6 weeks. In former days, if someone was absent from worship for a week or two, we were checking up on them to see if they were ill, traveling, or absent because of a problem. Now, it is more difficult to know since weekly church attendance is on the wane. How can we feel that we truly belong if we miss out on the teaching, fellowship, and contact that we need by gathering with fellow Christians? We were not created to be on the Christian journey alone.
B involved in at least one ministry of the local church. Those who do more than sit in the pew find great joy in serving. Yes, it does require more of us, but knowing that we are giving of ourselves in helping where we are needed brings a greater sense of being a part of God’s Kingdom.
B concerned for the needs of other members and for those who need to know Jesus. It is so easy to become comfortable in looking at our needs and to forget that someone sitting near us or on our street may need us. I remember the song that was popular when I graduated from high school and was sung at our commencement: “No Man Is an Island.”
These three B’s do not provide an exhaustive list, but do provide a starting points for us. I know from experience that my life has greater purpose and joy if I focus on at least these three.

Don Seevers

We Shall All Be Changed

What a true statement! All we have to do is look back at old photos of ourselves to see how much we have changed over the years. I had a reality check a few years ago when I posted a picture of me along with a ladies trio I accompanied from 41 years ago on our Choir Room bulletin board. When I asked people “who is the guy in that photo” hardly anyone recognized me. When I look at it, I see myself as I would like to be again…a lot more hair, dark hair, younger, and much thinner! I am confident that most of us feel that way when we see old pictures. (The inserted picture is of me about 20 years ago!)
As I read through the texts that we will be addressing over the next several weeks in our sermons, I am drawn to Romans 12:1-2; Romans 13:11-14 and Romans 14:9-12. These passages focus on the changes that take place in our lives as we follow and are obedient to Christ, but these scriptures remind us of what is ahead for the believer. We are changed now and we will be changed eternally. Living a “changed” life is important now because it allows us to live a “changed” life forever!
About 25 years ago, there was a popular choir anthem, that I used in several churches, composed by Linda L. Johnson and Tom Fettke. The text is taken from I Corinthians 15. As you read through that text in your Bible, please also enjoy the text of this anthem.

In only a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
At the sound of the trumpet, we will see Him come.
In only a moment, we’ll behold Him in the sky,
And the Lord Himself will quickly take us home.

(Refrain) We shall all be changed,
Caught up to heaven in a cloud of glory,
We shall all be changed, transformed in victory.
Death, where is thy sting? God conquered death and hell.
We shall all be changed. We shall be changed.

In only a moment, Jesus Christ will call His own,
With the voice of the angel and the trump of God.
In only a moment, we’ll be raised from earth to heav’n,
And will live in peace forever with the Lord. (Repeat Refrain)
Changed!

Don Seevers

Plug In to the Worship Ministry

Here we are in mid-August and school has started. Soon, we will be involved in a full schedule of church ministry, too. So, please grant me a few lines to request that you consider becoming involved in the worship ministry at Tates Creek Christian Church. I know that many of you really appreciate the efforts of those already involved, but I guarantee that you will enjoy our ministry more if you are an active partner in it.
Worship Choir begins Wednesday, September 14, at 6:30 PM
The Worship Choir is our most prominent group as they sing most Sundays in our 9:30 AM service. In addition, they also provide music for concerts during the Christmas and Easter season as well as other special concerts. All singers are welcome, but we would especially welcome younger singers who attend our first service. If you can’t join us weekly, perhaps you would consider being a seasonal member for our special concerts. Reading music helps, but not necessary. Just being able to sing a part and having a great personality are the main requirements.
T3CPO (Orchestra) begins Monday, September 19 at 6:00 PM
We have enjoyed having an orchestra that plays monthly in our first service since 2004. In addition to providing special music in our services, T3CPO also accompanies our congregational singing and plays in our Christmas and Easter concerts. This multi-generational group welcomes all players who can play at least moderate level music and we especially need more brass players. Dust off that trumpet, trombone, French horn, or tuba (we actually have a tuba!) and join us!
Rejoicing Ringers (Hand Bells) begins Sunday, Sept.18 at 4:30 PM
I am so glad that we can involve several more people, who don’t consider themselves singers, in our hand bell choir. Rejoicing Ringers ring on a monthly basis in our first service and occasionally in a special concert. We would love to have a couple more folks with a strong arm join this instrumental ensemble.
Worship Ensemble meets as needed Wednesdays at 5:45 PM
This recently formed vocal ensemble assists in leading worship and occasionally provides special music on Sundays when our Worship Choir is on break. While including members of our Choir, this group is also open to other singers. Contact me if interested in joining this ensemble.

Don Seevers

Worship Ministry News

On June 5 at 6:30 PM, we will welcome Cantabile to our concert series. Cantabile is an a cappella ensemble of young adult singers that is directed by Donna Bonner. Donna was the choral director at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School for many years. Many of these singers were in her high school choirs. I have listened to several of their selections on the internet, but two of our ministers have heard them in person and state they are “outstanding”. A small ensemble will be performing on Sunday morning so you can hear a sample of their music. The evening concert is free and we encourage you to invite guests.

The Three-Church Concert will be held again this year on Friday,
July 1 at 7:00 PM in the Worship Center of Immanuel Baptist Church. This concert has become an every-other-year favorite combining the choirs and orchestras of Tates Creek Christian, Immanuel Baptist, and Centenary United Methodist churches. This year’s concert theme is Sovereign Lord and will feature dynamic arrangements of hymns, patriotic songs, and contemporary worship songs. Come prepared to enjoy a great evening of celebration and an opportunity to give as we receive an offering for a local mission.

The Easters gospel singers will return to Tates Creek for a concert of gospel music on Sunday evening, July 31 at 6:30 PM. This outstanding group has won many music awards and are coming for a love offering. If you enjoy gospel music, you won’t want to miss the Easters!

Finally, we are offering a Summer Choir during the month of July again this year. This choir is open to any singer in our church as you join with Worship Choir members to sing an easy song in the 9:30 AM service. We will meet on July 3, 10, 24 & 31 at 8:50 AM in the Choir Room to learn our music as we prepare for the worship service.

Don Seevers

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