With six ensembles whose members range in age from 4 to 70+, Bethany Lutheran Church offers a wide variety of opportunities for praising the Lord!
When the Organ Committee set about the task of researching various options to solve the problem of the rapidly deteriorating Fouser organ in 1993, there was a strong desire, in the interest of stewardship, to recycle as much of the old Fouser organ as was feasible. While several of the builders contacted ruled this out as a possibility, there were other builders who would consider this. Of these, the Berghaus Organ Company proposed the most extensive use of old materials, using about ninety percent of the pipes from the old Fouser organ.
Because of this re-use of old pipe work, this organ is considered to be a thoroughly rebuilt organ. This term is somewhat deceiving, however: With the exception of one reservoir, all other materials in the organ are new. The console, swell box, and wind chests are all new. In addition, eleven ranks of new pipe work were added to the ten ranks used from the Fouser. All of the pipe work from the Fouser organ has been completely revoiced. Also, a new, larger blower provides the necessary air to the increased number of pipes.
To accommodate the new organ, several modifications were made to the balcony area. The supporting structure for the old Fouser organ was enlarged to accommodate the additional ranks of pipes. In addition, some of the lighting in the balcony has been completely reworked.
The organ is in three divisions. The Swell organ is within the large chest (swell box) in the middle, while the Great organ is on top of the Swell organ and the Pedal organ is across the front and sides of the installation. The main wind chests are of the slider type, with the pallet valves activated by pull down magnets, and the sliders operate by solenoid drives. The console is constructed primarily of oak. It contains the latest solid-state electronic components. The manual keyboards are tracker-touch, with naturals finished with white plastic and sharps in black plastic.
The organ has 27 ranks with a total of 1,453 pipes, chimes, and a Zimbelstern.
This choir is composed of youth and adults and rehearses on Mondays from 8 to 9 p.m. The Praise Ringers ring 5 octaves of handbells and 4 octaves of handchimes. They usually ring for worship once a month, and for festival services such as Christmas Eve and Easter Day. In May, 2019, they will present a concert at the National Lutheran Home in Rockville.
Being able to read music is a "plus" for Praise Ringers, but isn't required, since all parts are color-coded! We have openings for new members!
The World Premiere of Trinity March
by Mark Schweizer
This handbell work was commissioned by the Trinity Handbell choir in honor of Director Linda Hemphill's 60th birthday. This work debuted at Bethany Lutheran Church's 2nd annual Sounds Sweet handbell concert, May 21, 2005.
These are youngsters in grades 1 or 2 through 6, and they rehearse on Mondays from 7:20 to 7:55 p.m. (after Allelu Singers rehearsal). They ring 3 octaves of bells and chimes (using color-coded music) and play for worship usually once a month. King's Ringers have presented programs in conjunction with the Allelu Singers at Mt.Vernon House, the Lincolnia Senior Center, and Rockville's National Lutheran Home and participated in Bethany’s former concert series, “Sounds Sweet!” (a handbell dessert concert).
The Bethany Singers are youth and adults who sing in worship once or twice a month. Midweek rehearsals are offered in two identical sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Then people report to the balcony 25 minutes before the stated service to learn/refresh that day's anthem. The Bethany Singers sing music from a variety of centuries and genres, and provide extra music on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Easter Day.
These are energetic youngsters in Kindergarten through grade 6. They rehearse weekly on Monday nights, from 6:30 to 7:10 p.m., and usually sing for worship once or twice a month.
Even though they're having fun, Allelu Singers are also learning the basics of good musicianship and singing skills.
Once a year, usually in early June, they present a musical, such as "Daniel, Chapter Six" and "The Troubbable of Zerubbabel". Allelu Singers also have an active outreach, presenting programs at, for example, Paul Spring Retirement Center and New Hope Fellowship.
What is it?
Created2Worship (C2W) is Bethany's praise team. C2W was established in 2005 as a way to lead the congregation regularly in a more modern worship style. C2W is unique among Bethany's music groups: While the team regularly provides an anthem, its focus is the entire service, from prelude to postlude - leading God's people throughout the worship service.
New in 2014, the 2 in C2W stands for the 2nd Sunday of each month, when C2W supports worship completely, with a few exceptions as noted on the full music schedule, located here.
What you can expect...
At a C2W-led service, you'll notice a few differences from the traditional services: The team leads from the front of the sanctuary, and the music is typically more modern, as you'd hear on a contemporary Christian radio station, featuring songs from artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Darlene Zschech, Paul Baloche, and sometimes "older" praise artists like Twila Paris or Michael W. Smith, with even a few songs from the Lutheran Service Book (the current hymnal).
You'll also notice several similarities: The liturgy is familiar; the scripture readings and the sermon are the same; the attire of the pastors and laity is the same; and the same candles, altar paraments, and other symbols are used.
The team regularly features singers, keyboard, guitars, bass, and drums. Whenever possible, C2W strives to select songs recommended as appropriate for the given Sunday by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Commission on Worship.
Join the team!
Psalm 150 (below) encapsulates C2W's approach. The team is always ready to welcome new members, both vocalists and instrumentalists, and would love to have you join a few rehearsals to see what they're about. If you're interested in trying out a rehearsal or have general questions about the team, contact Sue McKinney or Carrie Wehling (co-directors) at BethanyC2W@gmail.com or via the Church Office at 703-765-8255. Rehearsals are held in the Sanctuary on Wednesday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (7-7:30 for instruments only), except during Advent and Lent, when they move to Thursday nights.
Bethany’s Christ for All Nations is an international outreach. Every Sunday, we worship at 1 p.m. in Bethany’s sanctuary. Choir practices are Saturday nights at 5 p.m.
This worship service originated as “African Style”, and there is still a West African flavor to the music we use. But recently, we changed our name from “African Immigrant Ministry” to “Christ for All Nations” to reflect our intention to “Go… and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). The music has expanded accordingly to include contemporary Christian, Gospel, and any other cultural sounds that Bethany’s church members and guests bring with them.
The service is from the Lutheran hymnal, but international sounds and rhythms flavor the music, the prayers, and the dancing that will surround you when you visit.
Email email@example.com for more information.
On Reformation, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Easter, we welcome brass ensembles to the balcony to play on hymns and occasionally anthems, preludes, and postludes. Timpani (kettle drums) are included on Easter! Experienced instrumentalists from the congregation are welcome to participate in these ensembles!
Every spring, usually after Easter, there are concerts offered to the community in Bethany’s sanctuary. Performances have included Lindsay Hemphill and Bethany Blevins (flutes), West Potomac High School Choir, Columbia Flute Choir, “Bethany’s Got Talent!”, ‘Musical Whiplash!”, “Hymns of the Faith”, and The Alexandria Singers (an adult pops choir). For twelve years, Bethany’s handbell choirs presented “Sounds Sweet”, a handbell dessert concert, featuring music you don’t normally hear in church….Top 40, Broadway, and the movies. We hope to re-establish this concert series in the future!
In addition to the choirs, there are always opportunities for people from the congregation to share their musical talents in worship, either singing (solos or small groups) or playing instruments (preludes, postludes, etc.).