West Raleigh says goodbye to Tom Lohr after 26 years of making beautful music together. Thank you for everything, Tom.
You can read a copy of Tom's "thank you" letter to the congregation below:
Dear West Raleigh,
At our service on Sunday, I really wanted the morning to be about the worship of God, and little about me. I am a simple person, so simple things suit me best. While I would have been satisfying with no attention on my exit, I thought that that would not be the case. But I was pleased to see that things were fairly simple and the attention was shared with my family and the service was still nicely God-centered. The welcome of Susan and me, along with a son, daughter-in-law and our three grandchildren was very meaningful. And the gifts that included the little ones are so special.
Following church on Sunday our oldest granddaughter came home with us and it was the first time that she had been here with us without her two siblings for several weeks. So I took that opportunity to read the Mo Willem book Because to her for the first time (this was a gift on Dec. 12). She listened intently and really paused for a few moments to ponder the point of the story and the time sequence that it offered. I know that each additional time we read it, more and more of the point will be revealed to her as she processes the words that she hears.
The gifts from yesterday, with their grandparent-grandchild approach, are delightful! Shopping at Quail Ridge books (either for myself or for the little ones) will be a nice. Time together for trips to Ben & Jerry’s, Pullen Park, the Arboretum and the Zoo will all be great fun. And to be able to visit multiple times – wow! What a treat. For these thoughtful things, along with the contribution to Sing for Joy, I thank you. (For those of you not familiar with Sing for Joy, you can hear it Sunday mornings on WCPE-FM, 89.7, from 7:30 – 8:00, or on their website any time).
My thanks to you also for the kind words in prayers and sermon, the vividly beautiful flowers and the use of a parament made especially for times when music is to be emphasized were all meaningful.
Normally for a day of this sort one would expect only to be able to recall it in one’s memory. But with Mark McCorry’s fine recording I have the added delight to be able to relive all the moments time and time again while I also reinforce them in my memory which is vivid at the moment.
The Chancel Choir is a master of surprises. It is unusual to involve that many people in preparing music and to keep it a secret. But that was the case. The two secret anthems that they prepared, and wove into the service so seamlessly, was remarkable. And to have encouraged former choir members to sing too added special meaning. And the words from Rebecca Leggett’s gift in memory of George were so fitting for the day for indeed Many Colors Paint the Rainbow as all of God’s people created in each one’s special way is part of that Rainbow that serves to unite humankind always.
So thank you Katherine, Lori, Mark, Anna, James, Chancel Choir, those who shopped for the nice gifts and all others involved in behind-the-scenes aspects. I appreciate all of your kindness and expressions.
And now, Let us pray:
Lord, God, the people of this church, this church family has welcomed me in this place for many years. I am grateful for all that they have offered me – exquisitely fine musical instruments, musicians with eager energy to ring bells; to strum, pluck or bow strings; to play horns or sticks and drums; and to sing as a choir, single singers and a vibrant congregation all to Your Glory. It has been a pleasure and honor for me to have been a part of this church family and musical family for all of this time. I have learned and grown in my faith, and hope that I have helped the members of this church family to grow in their faith as well. I will keep these kind people in prayer and hope that they too will offer a prayer for me at some time. For in prayer we can be united because Your Spirit is a powerful presence and we thank you for that.
Bless us all now and forever. Amen.