First Congregational has a new Steinway piano in the building! Thanks to a generous gift from FCC member, Ann Gibson, whose late husband Dr. Vincent Vinci, was an enthusiastic pianist. Vincent’s mother gifted him the piano, built in 1927, as a graduation present when he graduated from NYU Medical School in the 1950’s. Ann has lovingly cared for the piano since his passing in 2003 and moved it with her wherever she went, including from New Jersey to Oregon in 2011. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to carry forward Vincent’s love of the piano on this beautiful instrument. Thank you, Ann, for this amazing gift! The piano needs some regulation and voicing work done. If you’re interested in financially supporting these efforts, contact Jared Fischer.

After 20 years of service leading our bell choirs, Jennifer Sellers is retiring from her leadership role and taking a spot on the other side of the bell tables. Jennifer began serving as Youth Bell Choir Director in 2004, and Adult Bell Choir Director in 2006. She will serve as the backup director, and Barbara Baird has agreed to take over as Bell Choir Director for the long term. Barb has been filling in for Jenny when needed and enjoys leading rehearsals and planning music to share during worship. We’re grateful to Barb for her willingness to take up the position. We are deeply indebted to Jenny for the joyfulness, humor, and dedication she brought to the Bell Choir for so many years, and always with a twinkle in her eye. Please give her a big ‘thank you’ when you see her!

In other news, Jared’s son Ro was born in September of last year. Right, “not news,” you say, but it may be news that Jared’s only taken 2 of the 12 weeks of his parental leave. Because Ro was born during the choir season, Jared planned to take most of his leave in the summer to be present with the choir during Advent, Lent, and Easter. He will take the remaining 10 weeks during June, July, and August, so you will not see much of him at FCC over the summer months. He’s looking forward to taking Ro to see family and friends in other parts of the country, and maybe even other parts of the world, we’ll see.