“In the bulb, there is a flower” begins Hymn of Promise*. Vision and faith help us to see the flower before it blooms. After Pat and Bob Perelman accompanied Rev. David Donathan, Minister of Music & Arts/Organist at Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston, to a concert featuring an antiphonal organ, they were impressed by the way the music surrounded them. They and others began to envision an antiphonal organ in the Centrum at Christ Church.
Bob Perelman died in February 2015, just a few days shy of their 70th wedding anniversary. He and Pat were soon together again, as Pat died in March. Through a generous gift from their estate to the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, the Perelmans will assist the Christ Church congregation in fulfilling its dream–to plant the seed from which a flower will bloom.
“From the past will come the future” the hymn continues, and the planned-for antiphonal organ will have a unique connection to the past. When the congregation moved to its new location on the corner of Quarrier and Morris Streets, the church’s first organ was sold to the church now known as Simpson Memorial United Methodist Church. In 2005, with the organ needing extensive renovations, the Trustees of Simpson Memorial sold the organ back to Christ Church. The plans for the antiphonal organ call for utilizing 12 of the original 14 ranks of pipes from the original 1903 organ.
“We are grateful for the generosity of Bob and Pat Perelman” said Rev. Donathan, upon learning of their gift. “Bob and Pat were faithful supporters of the music ministry of Christ Church where Pat sang in the Chancel Choir. The gift from their estate will help Christ Church realize its vision of installing an antiphonal organ using the pipes first purchased by our ancestors in 1903 to complement the sound of our Holtkamp organ in the Centrum. Future generations of worshipers will be blessed by their legacy.”
D. Elton Trueblood, a former chaplain to both Harvard and Stanford Universities, said we can begin to understand the true meaning of human life when we plant shade trees under which we know we will never sit. Bob and Pat Perelman were generous in life and in death; although they will not physically be present in worship with the antiphonal organ, their estate gift will help others in their praise of God.
*The United Methodist hymnal: Book of United Methodist worship. (1989). Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, No. 707.