Letter from Elijah Langille to Christ Church

Exterior view of Christ Church Plymouth in the spring. Masonary building with large antique wooden doors

After worship on February 18, 2024 , Elijah shared the below information in-person with our choir, and now shares it with all of us.

Dear Congregation of Christ Church Parish,

Today, I write to you with a heavy heart, yet with a sense of excitement for what the future holds.

As some of you may already know, I have made the challenging decision to step down from my role as the organist for our cherished church. My final service will be on April 14, 2024, at the end of the Lenten season.

Now, a new chapter begins with a unique opportunity to pursue my dream of conducting professional orchestras in Boston and beyond, as well as the chance to shape the future of music education as an accepted candidate as Department Head for grades 6-12 in the Barnstable Public School district.

As I write down these words, I am reminded of this very calling that led me to serve as the organist for our church. This decision did not come easily. Over the years, I’ve had the honor of serving our parish through my music. From the majestic sounds of our hymns on Sunday mornings to the joyous carols of Christmas Eve, every note has been a way for me to express my faith and love. I have always considered playing our church organ an act of worship, a privilege and an honor. The joy of sharing music with you, the congregation and witnessing its transformative power during our worship services and special events have been a source of inspiration for me.

To each of you, I express my profound gratitude. Your unwavering support, and your shared love for music have been sources of great joy for me. Even during my travels to conduct orchestras in Europe, your prayers and well-wishes went with me. Your appreciation for the role of music in worship has made my experience truly fulfilling. For instance, I think of my premiere as conductor of The Tutti Collective in Boston. Having members of our community attend that concert, write well wishes, and actively support my travels to Europe to conduct professional orchestras has been a gift.

As I embark on an exciting new journey, please know that Christ Church Parish and all of you will remain in my heart. I will always remember your warmth and kindness, especially when I first joined the congregation. I want you to know that the relationships and memories I formed at Christ Church Parish will always hold a special place in my heart. Your kindness and generosity are a testament to the love and unity that binds us in Christ. I am truly grateful for the opportunities I have had to contribute to the worship services and special events over the years. The joy of sharing music with the congregation and witnessing its transformative power has been a source of inspiration for me. Over my tenure, I have been lucky enough to support the choir and help lead the parish through COVID-19 and the transition to our new rector. In addition, creating new initiatives, like spearheading the organ restoration campaign and promoting our building for use by educators and professional musicians, has been a unique gift. Because of these steps, I am confident that Christ Church will flourish musically and spiritually.

During my tenure, I have been blessed to know and work with many remarkable individuals who have left a profound impact on me who are no longer with us. Among them was Tom Nordquist, whose memory we honor. Tom’s unwavering faith, his love for our church and our organ, and his encouragement were a source of great inspiration. His absence is deeply felt, yet his spirit continues to echo in our hearts and in the hallowed halls of our beloved church. I am grateful for the times we shared and the lessons I learned from him. His legacy, like the many individuals who went before him, lives on in the love and unity of our congregation.

In this moment of transition, I would also like to extend my deepest thanks to the dedicated staff and leaders of Christ Church Parish. Your commitment to this faith community does not go unnoticed and has been integral to the smooth functioning of our worship and communal life.

To David Tyler, whose administrative skills and tireless dedication keep our parish running smoothly, thank you. Your work behind the scenes is a crucial component of our success as a parish. To Deacon James Thomas, whose leadership and vision have guided us through many seasons – your wisdom and guidance have been invaluable. Your constant support and encouragement were pivotal in my journey here. Jae, our sexton, deserves a special mention. Your dedication to maintaining our sacred spaces, especially the organ I loved so much, has been a blessing. Your hard work and commitment to excellence have always been greatly appreciated.

To Melissa Howell, our rector, your spiritual leadership and pastoral care have been a beacon for all of us. Your kindness, wisdom, and dedication to our congregation inspire us daily. Your support and guidance have been essential to me.

Finally, to our choir and Lea Tyler, our gifted choir director, I extend my deepest gratitude. Your exceptional talent and dedication have truly enriched our worship experience and brought our choir to new heights.  I have been fortunate to work alongside you, to learn from your expertise, and to witness the joy you bring to the choir and the congregation.

As I step down from my role, I want you to know that your friendship and collaboration over the years have meant more to me than words can express. Thank you for your support, guidance, and unwavering commitment to our church’s musical ministry. As I move on to the next chapter of my life, I will carry with me the love, friendship, and lessons I have gained from each of you. Thank you for being part of my journey.

In closing, thank you, Christ Church, for allowing me the privilege of serving you and our community through music. I will miss you dearly, but I am excited to see how God will continue to work through each of you. Remember, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

With heartfelt gratitude,

Elijah Langille

We are so grateful for Elijah and his ministry with us! Please hold him and Kari in your prayers through this season of changes and new callings. Now and in the weeks ahead, Lea, Elijah, myself, and our vestry will be working together on plans to support our choir and music ministries through the transition. We will also make plans to celebrate Elijah and his ministry with our parish. We will share updates as we move forward together, aiming to keep the lines of communication open. Goodbyes are always tender, and, as Elijah names so beautifully in his letter, transitions also provide openings to new ways for our “good work” to continue, always guided by the Holy Spirit.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Melissa +

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