CHURCH LADY: March is a musical month at Marco churches

Life is rich here on Marco, musically and most importantly spiritually. On Saturday, the Hyssongs, a traveling gospel group known for their humor, talent and unique sound, will give a concert at Wesley United Methodist Church.

On Monday, Martha Gallagher will fill the San Marco Catholic Church Parish Hall with music, poetry and storytelling. Her performance will benefit the San Marco Catholic Youth.

“Martha is a vivacious and wonderful woman. She has songs from everyday life… and is just a lot of fun,” said Kim Adamson, San Marco’s director of religious education and avid harpist.

Gallagher’s diverse musical background ranges from classical flautist in a symphony orchestra to lead singer in rock, jazz and blues bands. She has performed with the Grammy Award-winning Chieftains.

“Her original songs glide in the blink of an eye from wailing blues to Latin grooves to classical inspirations, from swingin’ jazz to vibrant contemporary folk,” states Gallagher’s press release. “Her voice is chameleon-like, ranging from smokin’ hot to achingly tender, and all that’s in between.”

Gallagher’s tours have taken her around the U.S. and Canada; several were sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts.

”My original songs sing of what I call the ’everyday miraculous,’ ” wrote Gallagher. “I am so delighted to have my performance benefit this terrific group of young people.”

Proceeds will help the group attend mission trips and retreats, including the National Catholic Youth Conference.

On Thursday, Marco Lutheran Church’s Artists Series concludes with the all-women Purduettes choir. The concert is sold out and Carmen Brookshaw, artists series chairman, thanks the community for its support.

On March 18, Billy Dean and Dawn will give a free concert at Marco Presbyterian Church.

“These concerts are our gift to our community,” said the Rev. Bill Lyle, lead pastor.

The handsome, lively, statuesque couple — both over six feet tall, have been performing everything from high energy nightclub dance music to laid back jazz standards in Southwest Florida since 1997. Dawn is a classically trained soprano with a three-octave range but after two decades of singing different styles her voice has morphed into a combination of Sarah Brightman, Patsy Cline, Whitney Houston, Karen Carpenter with a touch of Elvis. “Sometimes they think it’s my husband and it’s me,” she said.

Billy has a low bass voice and sings everything from rock and roll to Andrea Bocelli. He also plays keyboard, piano, alto and soprano saxophone.

The concert will consist of Gospel, contemporary Christian, hymns and other inspirational music. “No dancing is anticipated,” said Dawn.

Their fans will be able to see the duos spiritual side as they share through music how wonderful God is; how much He loves us; and how to have a personal relationship with Him.

When she sings at sumptuous parties in elegant homes she reflects on what awaits those who know God.

“The functions we get to attend are just a taste of the joy that we will experience in heaven,” she said. “I pray that no one I meet misses that eternal opportunity, but has their name on His guest list.”

A love offering will be taken and they will donate the money to Legacy Church in Estero, for missionary Dave Parker with Miskey Ministries – Philippines.

Also on March 18, the legendary contemporary Christian music singer Evie Tornquist-Karlsson will give a concert at New Life Community Church. Tornquist-Karlsson, or simply Evie, was know in the 1970s and early 1980s for songs such as “Come on Ring Those Bells,” “Step into the Sunshine” and “Four Feet Eleven.”

“She was my inspiration when I was a little girl,” said Tica Barrette, wife of New Life’s Worship Pastor Greg Barrette. Tica, a vibrant mezzo-soprano, is a member of New Life’s Praise Band.

“For Christian music she was my ideal,” said Barrette. “I wanted to sound just like her.” The two became friends when Evie moved to Naples. “She is the sweetest, most sincere, loving person,” continued Barrette.

The final musical offering this month will be John Rutter’s “Requiem” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on March 25. The “Requiem” is part of the church’s Holy Eucharist and will provide the background to Celebration of Life Sunday, a time to remember departed loved ones.

“The ‘Requiem’ is beautiful, melodic, almost ethereal,” said Dr. Ron Doiron, St. Mark’s music ministries director. A harp, flute, oboe, strings and organ will join the church’s choir. The text mixes the traditional Latin Requiem Mass with some English, including the 23rd Psalm.

This year’s Celebration of Life Sunday will be especially poignant for Doiron as his beloved grandmother passed away this year.

The prelude will begin at 10:15 a.m. and a reception will follow the service.

Be sure to check out the Faith Briefs to see what else is happening at the Houses of Worship in the greater Marco area.

Kathleen Tuttle, a Marco Island resident since 1987, has written articles for various non-profits for more than 25 years. She is a community volunteer, former science teacher and microbiologist. Kathleen can be contacted at worship@rstuttle.com.

If you go

Hyssong. Gospel. 6:30 p.m. March 10, Wesley United Methodist Church. Donation.

Martha Gallagher. “Wild Harp and Winged Heart.” 7 p.m. March 12, San Marco Catholic Church. $20 (Students free).

Purduettes. Choir, pop to classical. 7:30 p.m. March 15, Marco Lutheran Church. Sold out.

Billy Dean and Dawn. Gospel. 6 p.m. March 18, Marco Presbyterian Church. Donation.

Evie. Contemporary Christian. 6 p.m. March 18, New Life Community Church. Donation.

John Rutter’s “Requiem.” Sunday Choral Eucharist. 10:30 a.m. March 25, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

San Marco Catholic Church

Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday after the 8:30 a.m. Mass, at approximately 9:15 a.m., in the church; and 4:15 p.m. in the memorial gardens.

The San Marco Knights of Columbus Friday Fish Fry/Bake is from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Parish Hall. A fish dinner, including baked or french fried potatoes, coleslaw, rolls, coffee or tea and ice cream is $10, $5 for children 11 and younger. Take-outs available. Proceeds go to local charities.

St. Finbarr Parish

Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday after the 9 a.m. Mass.

A weekly Lenten study group meets 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday through March 29. The group will study and discuss the writings of Pope Benedict XVI’s “Jesus of Nazareth-Holy Week: From the Entrance to Jerusalem to the Resurrection.” For information call Bill at 239 331-3983 or Cindy 239 389-1912.

Marco Presbyterian Church

Twenty-sixth Annual Missions Conference tonight through Sunday will feature the Rev. Jim Rosene, Kids Around the World; Gary Waldecker, Mission to the World-South America; and Stacy Ladenburger, Crossroad Bible Institute.

The schedule is as follows: Rosene, Waldecker and Ladenburger will discuss their ministries and opportunities to get involved, 7 p.m., tonight. Dessert will be served.

Food packaging event with Kids Around the World, Saturday, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. The nutritious packaged meals will be distributed to the needy in Collier County. The goal is 50,000 meals. Rosene will preach at the 9 and 10:30 a.m., Sunday worship services. The missionaries will also address the 9 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday school classes. Training session to become an instructor with Crossroad Bible Institute 3:30 p.m., Sunday. Instructors correct lessons and write letters of encouragement to prisoners. Missionary panel discussion and a dessert buffet 6 p.m., Sunday.

Women’s weekly Bible study, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday. Beth Moore’s “The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” will conclude on March 16. Preschool children are welcome. Call the office to register your child.

GriefShare with Seasonal Pastor, the Rev. Rod Whited, continues 10 a.m. every Monday.

“Praying Life” with the Rev. Rod Whited meets 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays.

The ladies book club will discuss “The Screwtape Letters” 9:30 a.m., March 22.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

Fr. John Ineson’s 10 a.m., Friday Lenten book study continues in the Willis Ministry Center. The study is based on the book “Falling Upwards.”

Stations of the Cross Meditations will be held in the church 5:30 p.m. each Friday. All are welcome to visit the handmade Stations made by the church’s Artists in Residence group.

Morning Prayer will be offered each Tuesday during Lent at 9 a.m. in the Chapel.

New Life Community Church

New contemporary worship service, “Saturday Night Life!” 6 p.m., Saturday.

Session 2 of Beth Moore’s “Daniel, Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy” Women’s weekly Bible study at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday continues. Christians today face many of the same trials and temptations as the prophet Daniel — pressures to compromise one’s faith in a hostile culture. The study shows how individuals can live with integrity in today’s self-absorbed society. Cost: $20, scholarships are available. Call the church office for information.

Jewish Congregation of Marco Island

The 9:30 a.m. Torah study and 10 a.m. service continues every Saturday.

The Saul Stern Cultural Series concludes with “The Terrorist Cop,” 7:30 p.m., Sunday. Mordecai Dziansky, a NYPD Jewish policeman who traveled the world to stop terrorists will share his story and discuss lessons learned from fighting evil. Reception follows. Advance tickets are $25.

Marco Lutheran Church

Jewelry Fashion Show Luncheon and Car Show Fundraiser to help pay medical bills for Jessica Stevens, who underwent treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. There will be prizes and surprises. Bring your gold to sell. Men and women are welcome. RSVP, Nancy (419) 350-9058. $5 donation at the door includes lunch.

The Lenten Health Challenge under the direction of Parish Nurse Gail Cacciola meets from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. Each person will create a personal health goal, have a body composition analysis taken, and receive a personalized journal. The challenge will conclude on Good Friday will a full body analysis. The registration fee is $10; all proceeds after expenses will be donated to a local charity.

A 7 p.m. Lenten worship series entitled “Life Together,” based on the teachings of Concordia Seminary President Dale Meyer continues. The contemporary worship service Current will meet 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

GriefShare, a Christ-centered support group for those who have lost a loved one through death continues 10 a.m. each Thursday. Sessions are proceeded by a time of fellowship and coffee at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at noon. For information call Joyce Waidelich at (239) 793-4601 or Dory Catalano at (239) 389-2363.

Interfaith Community Adult Education Series

Fr. Tim Navin will discuss Catholic beliefs and practices 7 p.m., March 14 at San Marco Catholic Church. The Rev. William Lyle will discuss Presbyterianism and the Christian faith 7 p.m., March 20 at Marco Presbyterian Church. The final session will be 7 p.m. on March 22 when the Rev. Kevin Koenig will discuss Lutheran beliefs and practices at Marco Lutheran Church.

Wesley United Methodist Church

Easter Vacation Bible School for children age 4 to grade 5, April 2-6, a time of faith, fun and friendship. Please call the church to register.

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