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September 18, 2015, 2:04 PM

The homestretch | $1 becomes $2 with a match

As I begin writing this blog entry, I was inclined to start as such: "I couldn't be any more plesantly surprised with how well the pipe organ campaign is going."

That just wouldn't be entirely true, however.

In all actuality, I'm not the least bit surprised by the many forms of love and support the PUMC family has showered upon this project. From abundant financial generosity, to contributed in-kind expertise ranging from lighting assistance, engineering, painting, architectural design, and project management (just to name a few), our church family has stepped forward at every turn to ensure this pipe organ campaign is a resounding success. Oh, and prayer? Patience? Humor? PUMC has - in its typical, inspiring fashion - teemed with these in abundance. Thank you.

I'll share an update with you in about two weeks surrounding the construction and delivery of the pipe organ. (First, allow me a few more days to check with a few of our gifted craftsmen and vendors before that update.)

In the meantime, this blog post is all about the financial progress of the pipe organ campaign. As you may recall, the project's budget is $575,000. It remains right on-target and we do not project any cost overruns. As of today (September 18, 2015) we have raised just north of $527,000 which represents almost 92% of the amount needed. Yes, you read that right: We only have 8% left to raise, and then the entire project will be fully-funded and the church will not need to finance a single cent! Not a cent.

Two generous families from the church have united to offer a challenge match this September and October. Thanks to their generosity, all donations (and pledges) made between now and October 15, 2015 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $25,000. This means that your $100 donation becomes $200 with the match. Your $2,500 gift betcomes $5,000 with the match.

For anyone doing a little mental calculation, I suspect your face is beginning to boast a rather large grin. You're right: With the $25,000 match levied up by these two thoughtful families COMBINED with the $25,000 in donations and pledges that our congregation is apt to contribute between now and October 15, 2015...what's that you ask? Can it be? Surely not?

It's true! The $25,000 + the $25,000 match will bring the balance to a whopping $0. The fundraising for our pipe organ campaign will be complete! Done. Finito.

It is important to make note of the October 15, 2015 deadline. Cash/check/stock gifts OR pledges need to be received for the campaign by this deadline in order to be matched. However, the church leadership provides a beneficial caveat: the pledges need not be fulfilled (paid-up) until March 31, 2016. This may allow you to dig slightly deeper, making a bigger donation, with the added latitude to fulfil your pledge in the new 2016 tax year.

Make your donation in the weekly offering plate, or contact Brenda (treasurer) in the church office (317) 839-2319 or to make your donation or pledge arrangements.

Thank you for your love and support of our music ministry at Plainfield United Methodist Church. WIth your continued support, we will conclude this fundraising campaign with absolutely zero debt toward the pipe organ.

Michael Pettry
Director of Music

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July 23, 2015, 1:39 PM

Big news! $50,000 matching challenge gift

We've just received word: big news!

A member of the PUMC family has offered a $50,000 challenge to the congregation. All donations (up to $50,000) will be matched dollar-for-dollar thanks to this matching challenge from a generous donor. Any donation or pledge made between now and September 1, 2015 will be matched: This turns your $100 into $200 or your $2,500 into $5,000!

Already, the church has made such remarkable strides in funding the nearly-$600,000  project and we are on-track to have the pipe organ restoration fully funded (all paid for!) by the time the instrument is finished this fall. A remarkable accomplishment and a vivid illustration of this congregation's passion for such beautiful, Christ-centered worship. Indeed, to God be the glory!

If you have already made a donation to the campaign: thank you. If you have not yet took that step toward a financial contribution, now is the perfect opportunity. And, if you already have made a donation, consider one more donation or pledge to ensure we fully utilize this generous $50,000 match.

Make your donation with a check noting "organ" in the memo line, or call the church office to arrange other details at (317) 839-2319.

Thank you for your generosity!

Charlie Wilfong        Michael Pettry
Senior Pastor           Director of Music

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June 8, 2015, 12:00 AM

Cockpits and Consoles

By Guest Blogger Zoe Wiltrout

Airplane cockpits and pipe organ consoles have much in common.  Both areas are the “command central” for operating either device.   As a passenger on many planes, I have often times peaked into the cockpit and have been overwhelmed by all the buttons, levers, gages and switches that are needed to fly the airplane.  I am much more familiar with the cockpit, or console, of an organ. Like a plane, there are many knobs, pedals, buttons, and tabs that can look very overwhelming to an untrained eye.

In writing this blog, I learned that not all plane cockpits have the same instrument panel layout.  There might be a generic “blueprint,” but different plane models will not all be consistent as to the location of every switch.  A competent pilot will know the subtleties of different models so he can safely fly any plane.   The success of a flight is the responsibility of the pilot and he has to know the instrument panel like the back of his hand. 

An organist has the same issues.  There is no established standard for how an organ console is set up.  The organ builder and participating organist are ultimately the decision makers on where each knob or tab is placed.  A competent organist will know what knobs (stops) create what sound, but will have to explore the specific instrument to find those knobs, or sounds.  Michael Pettry is an accomplished organist, but it’s going to take some time for him to learn how all the knobs, switches, buttons and pedals work on this console.  Most likely he’ll be able to sit down the first week and plunk out a hymn and it will sound wonderful.  But to create the music that this new instrument will be capable of, it will take Michael time to learn the console itself to create that music.

During the organ restoration project at PUMC, Michael has worked very closely with the organ builder to create a console that is efficient and logical for him and other organists. After reading an email thread between Michael and Thad Reynolds, the organ builder, my experience and knowledge of organs was definitely put to the test.  I laughed when I read through several of the questions: “Is the 8ft Tuba or Tuba Harmonic?”; “Can we move the Midi CH and MIDI PED buttons to be in vertical alignment with the So, Sw and Gt MIDI buttons?”; “What about a vertical wood inlay (subtle) running between the Swell I and Swell II knobs?”; “Are we calling the 8ft and 16ft Trompette En Chamade or Fanfare Trumpet?”; “Can the two Tutti buttons be labeled as Tutti I and Tutti II?” I had no idea what they were talking about.  I might as well have been reading an airplane manual! Michael has to be commended for the many hours he has spent hashing over drawings and bouncing ideas off of the organ builder so that the console is the very best for any organist.

As a pilot learns an instrument panel of an airplane cockpit – so does an organist learn the layout of an organ console.  It takes time and dedication, but once mastered, flying and playing are most rewarding.

Written by:
Zoe Wiltrout
Pipe Organ Restoration Committee member


06-09-2015 at 3:06 PM
Didn't know the depth of understanding and then the task of making the music happen. If my clarinet pads are sealing and I have a good reed I'm in business. Thank you Zoe and Michael.
for enlightening us.
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April 6, 2015, 2:00 PM

Seeking Volunteers: Removing the Pipework

We are just weeks away from the final day that our current pipe organ will be used in worship. It seems like just yesterday that we signed the contract with Reynolds and Associates to restore and enhance our pipe organ. My how the time flies when everyone is so busy with the various preparation projects.

We are seeking persons to help with physically removing the existing pipes and packing them in shipping crates. Trust me, this isn't as difficult as it sounds. Read on...

On Sunday, April 26 the pipe organ as we know it will sing its last in worship. At about 1:00 p.m. that Sunday, the process of removing the pipes begins. The organ builder, Thad Reynolds, will be located on a ladder in the chancel of the sanctuary. He will remove the various pipes from the cantilevered organ chest and then hand the pipe down to a person standing below the ladder. From there a "bucket brigade" of volunteers will hand-off the pipes from the chancel down the center aisle into wooden crates that will be located on the pews.

For the most part, anyone age 10 and up will be able to lend a hand. (These pipes are not all that heavy, with most of them being something around the size and weight of a roll of wrapping paper.) Sign-up sheets are available in the lobbies this Sunday. We need 20 people for each 2-hour shift on Sunday, April 26. The shifts run from 1:00 until about 7:00 p.m. Thank you for signing up to lend a hand.

If you want a preview of what this pipe removal looks like, check out this video on YouTube:

Michael Pettry
Director of Music

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March 8, 2015, 3:00 PM

Video: Building a Pipe Organ

Here's a great YouTube video about building a pipe organ.

Click here to watch "How It's Made: Pipe Organs:"

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