Music and Arts
A message from Stephen Schermitzler, Director of Music
Since the 1950s, Church of the Beatitudes has been widely known for its love and storied history of music & arts programming.
Beatitudes currently enhances worship and offers musical opportunity through an adult choir, church organ & piano, children’s music & drama, Special Music Services (encompassing sacred and secular traditions), as well as many concerts and community events throughout the year. We believe that music is the language of the spirit; the music heard in our facilities strengthens our desire to live in wholeness with our Creator, and expands our spiritual presence in the world.
Our passion for the arts literally extends to the rafters, as beautiful stained glass and masterful mosaics adorn our Worship Center and Nelson Hall walls. The church narthex proudly displays seasonal exhibits from our community and sponsors classes for artistic development.
Here at Church of the Beatitudes, we celebrate and foster a love of music and all experiences that come with it! Please consider lending your gifts to impact our community and our worship. Do you love to sing? Consider joining our adult choir or our children’s program. Love to eat? Bake cookies for concert receptions, or prepare snacks for children’s pageant rehearsals! Good at organization? We need ushers, box office volunteers, promoters and designers for our annual concert series. Play an instrument? Volunteer to play for a Special Music Service! If you can imagine a place for your talents, we look forward to realizing those dreams with you and finding the perfect fit. Please contact Stephen Schermitzler to talk about your perfect way to contribute!
The Beatitudes Choir serves as inspired musical leadership for our 9:00 AM Sunday worship. Members of all skill levels, aged high school and above, attend weekly rehearsals and Sunday services, singing from a diverse library of sacred and secular music. From classical to jazz, from musical theatre to Taize, from Celtic to World eclectic -- there is truly something for everybody! Any music that awakens the Divine in us and calls us to greater love is celebrated here.
The choir rehearses every Wednesday from September through May from 7:30-9:00 PM. Prepared section leaders help instill confidence in members who are new or learning. Sometimes, members of the choir will also play handbells or other instruments to add to the creativity of our worship. The group participates in Sunday morning 9:00 AM worship, including Special Music Services (5-7 per year), which feature various genres and styles of music in an effort to broaden spiritual horizons. A favorite extra-curricular event is hosting the annual Sing Phoenix! Choral Festival, which takes place every October and incorporates musicians from all over Arizona!
Everyone has been given a voice and a talent to contribute. If you don’t use yours to sing, that’s okay! There are still many ways you can share your unique gifts to glorify God. The choir has volunteer opportunities available in social event planning, organization of music libraries & choir robes, concert set-up and take-down, promotional consideration, and administrative help. Contact Stephen Schermitzler, Director of Music, for more information.
Children’s Music & Drama
Church of the Beatitudes celebrates the many wonderful gifts of our Children’s Ministry. Led by programming director Deni Nordmeyer, the children perform annual pageants during the Advent Season and on Palm Sunday. They also sing hymns with the adult choir on several occasions throughout the year.
Sunday school classes are taught to ages Kindergarten through 8th Grade every Sunday from 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM in the Dosia Carlson Community Center. Children seeking additional musical opportunities are welcome to sing with the Beatitudes Choir on a weekly basis, or contact Director of Music Stephen Schermitzler for other involvement.
Music on the Mount Concert Series
Welcome to the Church of the Beatitudes Concert Series! Performances take place in the Worship Center and in Nelson Hall and are family friendly. Scroll down to see a list of upcoming concerts, and to purchase tickets. Please note: Some tickets may only be offered through the performer’s website. All concerts have links to ticket purchase; performance times and ticket prices vary.
If you are interested in having your group perform at Church of the Beatitudes, contact Stephen Schermitzler.
For the Jazz Coffee House Concert Series:
2020 Jazz Coffee House Concert Series featuring:
January 19 - West by Northwest
February 16 - Union 32 Quintet
March 15 - Beth Lederman Quartet (CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC)
April 19 - Boneyard Band (CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC)
All live jazz performances include talk-backs with the musicians and take place in Nelson Hall at 6:00 p.m. with a $5 suggested donation.
From our campus grounds to the top of the beautiful Great West Window, Church of the Beatitudes is proud to celebrate a thriving tradition in visual arts. The Arts Council at Beatitudes hosts local art exhibits in the Worship Center, provides beautification for Sunday worship, maintains our treasured artistic contributions, and gives back to the local community by coordinating top-notch, “coffee shop-style” jazz concerts.
Worship Center Stained Glass
Great West Window
As one enters the Worship Center, the introductory words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are seen above the curved narthex wall: “Seeing the people, he went up to the mountain, and when his disciples came to him, he taught them.”
Proceeding through the narthex doors into the main House of Worship, one is confronted by the figure of Jesus Christ, hands raised in blessing, at the center of the worship space and part of The Great West Window, stained glass nearly six stories in height. One becomes aware of faces and figures in the folds of Jesus’ robe; individuals, real persons who have shown in their lives the qualities that Jesus described in the Beatitudes (Matthew, Chapters 5-7).
The people in the window:
Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960): a leading Christian minister and pioneer social worker in Japan
Sir Thomas More (1477-1535): English scholar, author and statesman under Henry VIII
Jeremiah (626-580 B.C.E.): One of the most influential of the Hebrew prophets
Martin Buber (1878-1965): A Jewish philosopher, Biblical translator, and author
David Livingstone (1813-1873): An influential doctor who went to Africa as a medical missionary
Albert Einstein (1879-1955): A physicist known for revolutionizing scientific conceptions of space, time, and the cosmos
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955): French Jesuit priest and paleontologist
Frederick Douglass (1817-1895): Orator, journalist, and publisher who devoted his life to the service of human liberty
Paul Tillich (1886-1965): One of the great theologians of the 20th century; said that God is “the ground of our being”
Jane Addams (1860-1935): American social worker and authority on many social problems
Washington Gladden (1838-1918): Congregational minister and ‘the father of the social gospel’ in American Protestantism
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965): Alsatian-German scholar, humanitarian, and Christian clergyman
Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969): Pastor of the Riverside Church, New York City
George Washington Carver (1864-1943): Scientist & teacher whose discoveries improved the economy of the South
Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961): Swedish diplomat and General Secretary of the United Nations
Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948): Apostle of non-violence who led India to freedom
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945): Pastor who fought for survival of the church in Nazi Germany
Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643): Outspoken woman who insisted on the right of dissenters to express their beliefs
William Brewster (1567-1644): Ruling Elder of a group who believed that true Christianity is found in scripture and individual conscience
John Robinson (1576-1625): “Pastor of the Pilgrims”; influenced Separatists who left for America
William Bradford (1590-1657): Heavy influence on the Pilgrims & Governor of Plymouth County
The narrow windows on either side of the Worship Center contain symbols relating to the life of Jesus (South side) and our lives in the world today (North side). South Aisle Windows include depictions of Jesus’ Apostles, Healing Acts, and Teaching Acts. North Aisle Windows visualize our Vocations, Healing Services, and Ways of Teaching.
All Worship Center windows are the concept of founding pastor Dr. Culver H. Nelson. Contributions are accredited to Mrs. Randall Barton, Mr. & Mrs. M. W. Frank, Alma & Agnes Neal, and Ms. Lily Ham. The windows were executed by Judson Studios of Pasadena, California, in faceted stained glass.
Nelson Hall Artwork
The theme for Nelson Hall is the Teachers of the Church. As you step into Nelson Hall, the teachers are arranged in chronological order. They are arranged in groups of eight at each corner of the hall. The earliest teachers start in the southwest corner, to the right of the stage (facing the stage). The next group is in the northwest corner, and they continue clockwise around the room.
1. St. Paul (c. 4-c. 64)
2. Origen (c. 185-c. 254)
3. Jerome (c. 347-c. 420)
4. Augustine (354-430)
5. Patrick (flourished in the 5th century)
6. Gregory the Great (c. 540-604)
7. Hilda of Whitby (c. 614-680)
8. Alcuin (c. 732-804)
9. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
10. Roger Bacon (c. 1220-1292)
11. John Wycliffe (c. 1330-1384)
12. Julian of Norwich (1342-after 1416)
13. Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536)
14. Martin Luther (1483-1546)
15. John Calvin (1509-1564)
16. Jakob Boehme (1575-1624)
17. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
18. John Bunyan (1628-1688)
19. John Eliot (c. 1604-1690)
20. Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
21. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
22. Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
23. John Wesley (1703-1791)
24. Robert Raikes (1735-1811)
25. Horace Bushnell (1802-1876)
26. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)
27. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)
28. Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)
29. Rufus Jones (1863-1948)
30. Karl Barth (1886-1968)
31. Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
32. Anonymous Sunday School Teachers
Connect & Support
The Beatitudes Arts Council is a group of enthusiasts who are passionate about using the arts as a medium for spiritual enlightenment. Areas of interest include visual arts, performing arts, spoken word, sacred space beautification, and more. The Arts Council is led by Marcia Nix & Tom Denny, and all are welcome to join! Visit us at one of our meetings the first Sunday of the every month in the Patio Room following worship service.
AARP Drum Circles
Join AARP AZ the last Tuesday of every month for a fun and interactive drum circle led by trained HealthRhythms® facilitator, Frank Thompson. Drum circles are a form of recreational music-making proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, promote joy, a sense of well-being and to build community. All drums and percussion instruments provided. No musical experience required. All sessions are held in the Worship Center from 6:00-7:30 p.m.