Categories: Email Blast

Sunday, September 9 will be a big day at St. Michael’s Church as we return to our regular worship schedule, with BCP Rite II Holy Communion at 8am and 10am and our new music director (see below!), and as we get ready for the start of Church School on September 16, with registration and information in the Church School building (see below!).  We will also baptize Emily Norton as the newest member of the family of God in Christ, and welcome all to bring their joy and hope for the time ahead with them on that day!


Frank VanAttaI am pleased to announce that, after an extensive discernment, candidate search, discernment, interview, discernment, audition and final discernment, St. Michael’s Church has selected Frank J. Van Atta as its new Music Director.  A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Frank is a 2012 graduate of the Temple University Boyer College of Music and Dance with a Master of Music in Choral Conducting.  Mr. Van Atta pursued undergraduate studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he graduated with degrees in choral music education and organ performance.  While there, he studied organ with Professor Emeritus Dr. Marilyn Kesier and voice with Professor Marietta Simpson.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Van Atta served as the Director of Music at the United Methodist Church of Bala Cynwyd. During his tenure there, he conducted the Chancel Choir and began a community-based youth choir and music education program from students in grades four through nine.  He also oversaw the concert series and conducted the church’s professional brass ensemble, the Bala Brass.

Frank Van Atta has performed with orchestras and choirs from across the country: the most notable of which include Singing City Philadelphia; the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia; The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh; the Philadelphia Orchestra; Westminster Brass; the Delaware Valley Symphony; Symphony 2001; and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

I am grateful to all who participated in the search process – whether through your direct involvement or through your prayers and support.  We are fortunate indeed to have this fine talent become part of our staff, and part of our worship community and its leadership!  We hope to have Frank with us on September 9.


Church School begins at 10am on September 16, and we are trying something new this year with our registration process for Church School.

First, we have put together a form on line through Survey Monkey (which is free) and would like you to try it out.  If it works, we will try to refine the online process for next year!  You can register by clicking here, and will want to complete the form before exiting (as incomplete forms are taken as complete, and your computer will then be marked as “already done this!”).

Second, we are asking parents of Church School kids to help teach on any three consecutive Sundays at 10am during the school year.  St Michael’s Church School is a wonderful offering that brings new families into the parish, helps young folks have a substantive, fun and safe experience at church, and allows parents time to breathe and find space for meaningful worship.

You will not be alone in the classroom, you will have lots of material from which to draw and support on how to use it, and you will – we are confident – find the experience worthwhile.  There are lots of ways to be involved supporting this wonderful program, which you will also see outlined in the registration form.

Please know that you may also register in-person and on-paper on September 9, following services, in the Church School building.

In peace, and  with great gratitude for our opportunity to serve together!

Hall Kirkham