For 33 years, Hal Pysher has shaped profoundly our prayer and worship at Bethesda.

He has coaxed song from choristers and worshippers alike, lifted the roof and made the church’s one foundation shake with the very instrument he designed, and crafted liturgies with a graceful and reverent precision.

His music has soothed grieving hearts, brought tears to the most hardened hearts, joined hearts together in common worship, and brought all of our hearts closer to God.

He has corralled acolytes, guided lectors, coordinated ushers, put the fear of God in choirs, directed Yuletide thespians and pipers and drums, enabled the steadfast work of the altar guild, and encouraged the beauty of art in the flower guild.

Hal has invited each of us, lay and ordained alike, to discover the divine through his artistry, and that artistry has shaped our common spirituality. A disciple of the Risen Lord, Hal has shared his own faith with us for three-plus decades, and we are a richer and more faithful community as a result. He has, as the psalmist wrote, taught us to, “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Ps. 96:9)

Be sure to join us this Sunday for the 11:00 a.m. service online as we thank Hal for his dedication and service to Bethesda and send him into retirement with a blessing. Then join us on Zoom, too, for coffee hour and a chance to say thank you to Hal himself. And stay tuned for news of a proper celebration of Hal’s ministry when we are able to gather again.

Associate for Christian Education, Pastoral Care, and Outreach