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Many of you may remember the compilation of memories collected in 2006 titled Heritage. I found the booklet as I was going through documents in my office – the stories were inspiring. I found Judy’s memory and thought it was a perfect starting point for her to share something new. Blessings ~ Janet


Many hours of preparation had gone into this moment, a moment that was conceived sitting around a square table with 13 other church members who started thinking outside the box. It was time to plan for our Christmas season. The handbell program and choir Christmas cantata were on the calendar. There are four Sundays in Advent, and that would take up two of them. Someone said, “It would sure be nice if we could do them both on the same Sunday.” It was pointed out that our sanctuary was too small to accommodate both choirs—we would need a place like Schuler Hall at NIC to pull that off. Funny how things get started when you let go and let God. Craig got the ball rolling by contacting Chris Martin at NIC and with the help of Max Mendez we were able to rent the hall at a reduced price.

Craig reached out to the pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church, and we combined forces with their choir and congregation to form what became a 60-voice choir. I contacted the community bell choir directed by Esther Christenson, and we combined our 5-octave choir with their 3-octave choir. My trusted orchestra coordinator Larry Strobel helped to recruit 25 members from the community orchestra to accompany us with Ray Weaver, our pianist.

The moment I was talking about had arrived December 17th, 2017. It had snowed significantly, and I was sitting backstage, hoping that the choir would not outnumber the people in the crowd. Craig came back to see if I was ready, and I was until he told me there was a crowd of around 700 people! My first thought was to find the nearest exit. Here I was in another “sink or swim” situation, but never in front of 700 people!

I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer and walked out onto the stage. The moment had arrived, and I knew I was ready, because God’s hand had been in it from the beginning. Without sounding too prideful, the program was a huge success. All the hard work and behind-the-scenes planning had paid off. The free-will offering covered the cost of the hall. and the rest of the proceeds went to a local charity. As a matter of fact, it went so well, we did it all over again in 2018. Isn’t it funny how things get started when you let go and let God?

In His Service,

Judy Flieger

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