A Health Related Pause

by Director of Music Matthew Johnsen

I wanted to share some news that is a bit unsettling, and ask for your support.

Recently, I have been diagnosed with heart problems.  My physicians have advised that I should have heart surgery, which will necessitate a fairly long recovery time. So as our church is coming back into physical presence with one another, I am stepping away for a bit. The good news is that there is some confidence that the problem can be resolved, and I can resume my normal activities in due course.

I expect to be away from the church for three months. During my absence, we are working to ensure that the important place of music in the service is filled by others: Rachel Wagner directing the choir, Deb Bonneau stepping behind the piano to provide accompaniment for hymns and anthems.

In the near future, if you are so inclined, I would appreciate prayers and thoughts for me and my family, and health care providers during the operation and recovery.  It looks like it will be a long road, but one that will leave me even better than when it began. Thanks very much for your support.

Addendum from Aaron:

With the news of Matt’s impending medical leave the attention of staff, members of the choir, musicians and the congregation has been to support Matt’s health and recovery from surgery.  Members and friends have reached out personally.  In the coming days/weeks as we learn when the surgery will take place and the pace of recovery, we will update the congregation through weekly communications any needs that Matt and his family express.  During his leave we are delighted that Rachel Wagner has agreed to lead the Choir and Deb Bonneau has stepped in as accompanist for the Choir and for hymn singing, when we return to in-person service.  In the meantime we continue to extend our support, prayers, and thoughts of health and healing to Matt, Fran and their family during the challenging time.

The update about returning to in-person/online service is that at present the furnace for the sanctuary/lounge is broken and we are working diligently to replace it in the coming days/weeks.  Our hope was to return to in-person/online service on February 20, but that has been delayed because of the furnace issue.  We will learn this week what the time-frame is for our return and hope that it will be a matter of a week or two.  We will also update the congregation about this issue in upcoming weekly communications.