Best Wishes to Josaphat, our Assistant Music Director

Dear United Parish,

It is with gratitude and some sadness that we will say farewell this Sunday, August 30 to Josaphat Contreras, our beloved Assistant Music Director as he starts an exciting new educational adventure. Josaphat has served us lovingly and faithfully in this position since the autumn of 2018, always bringing joy, laughter, and compassion to his work and the people he works with. We may still see him from time to time, teaching a musicianship or voice class with our adults, or singing a solo in church, but his attention will be entirely reserved for school.

Please see his letter below.

~~~

I am writing to share some bittersweet information.

After graduating from Sam Houston State University, I told myself I would only return to school if it's what I absolutely wanted to do. This past year, I applied to 5 universities and was accepted to 4 with great scholarships attached to the schools! For me, it's been a lifelong dream to continue to study and be the first in my entire family to have a master's degree! So, this coming year, I will be attending The New England Conservatory of Music as a Master's student in their Vocal Pedagogy program.

I say this is a bittersweet moment because due to the ways that COVID-19 has shaped what the next year will look like, and the fact that I haven’t been in a school classroom (or virtual one) in five years, I have decided to step down from being your Assistant Music Director at United Parish and my final Sunday will be August 30th. I have decided that I need to fully concentrate on my academics as I only get one shot do this well! I have taken a lot of time to think about this decision and acknowledge that with everything changing in this world and in my life, this is a hard decision but a step that needed to be taken.

Please know that YOU made this job feel more than a job, in a good way. You have given me so much more than you will ever know. I will miss everyone running around on Sunday mornings, making sure worship is special every time we take a step in our beloved sanctuary. I will miss our choir processionals, holding our hymnals, listening to you all sing (yes, we do listen to you!). I will miss many more quirks of our beloved United Parish but know that your love and warmth is the thing that I will miss the most.

I will only be a couple of miles away (I'm moving to Brighton!), so don’t be a stranger!

I wish I could see you all in person before I officially leave but this is definitely not goodbye, it's only *Boston accent* see yah latah!

With all my love,

Josaphat Contreras