www.mybaycity.com December 26, 2004
Rotary Article 656

Ten Minute Rotarians Take the Rostrum at the Bay City Rotary Club This Week

Brass Quintet, Rev. Weenink, Cantor Gale, Pianist Najar Charm Yule Crowd

December 26, 2004
By: Dave Rogers


Cantor Daniel Gale, accompanied by Maestro Leo Najar in an unfamiliar role, perform ancient Christmas classics at Rotary.
 
Rev. Jeffrey Weenink delivers an inspirational Christmas message to appreciative Rotarians; and, there was no collection.

      This week's program: Ten Minute Rotarians (mystery speakers), arranged by President Mike Stoner.

      Last week: Christmas program with homegrown talent, Leo Najar, Daniel Gale, Rev. Jeffrey Weenink and the special community holiday band, Rotarian Gena Gates and Mark Brissette on trumpet, Bob Kjellberg on tuba, Buzz West on trombone and Rotarian Brett Lewless on French horn.

      The psychological effects of light and sound on the human spirit were the underlying themes of aunique and cultural Bay City Rotary Christmas program.

      The image and effects of light was the theme of Rev. Jeff Weenink's inspirational Christmas message at Rotary on Tuesday, Dec. 21, the start of the winter solstice.

      Maestro Leo Najar pointed out insightfully that the act of singing, a longtime Rotary tradition, brings people together like no other activity.


      "While singing we all breathe at the same time," said Mr. Najar, engaging the group in a self-demonstration of synchronous breathing. He commented: "That really brings us together."

      The message by the articulate pastor of First Presbyterian Church was a particularly illuminating one, explaining, for example, that peoples of the world light candles during the holidays "seeking to pierce the darkness and gain the spirit of hopefulness."

      Although no one knows exactly when Jesus Christ was born, in the 4th century Ambrose of Egypt set the start of the winter solstice as the date of the birth of the Christ Child. That is the point at which the darkness starts to recede and the days get longer.

      "The light speaks to divine involvement, intervention in the world and draws people together," Rev. Weenink said, concluding:

      "We need to light a candle against the darkness of a broken world and rediscover who God is."

      We were treated to the uplifting sounds of the brass quintet delivering Christmas favorites in a reprise of a presentation that bids fair to become a Bay City Rotary Club tradition.

      Cantor Gale and Maestro Najar at the keyboard were a scintillating duo with "Rock of Ages" in Hebrew and English and Irving Berlin's "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas," joined by the Rotary assemblage.

The special community holiday band, Rotarian Gena Gates and Mark Brissette on trumpet, Bob Kjellberg on tuba, Buzz West on trombone and Rotarian Brett Lewless on French horn.



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