Around the Island

Choir Sunday at Union Chapel

The Union Chapel Summer Choir has performed on the first Sunday in August for more than 20 years. This year, they’ll sing “In Praise of God” by Gordon Young on Sunday, July 31 at 10:30 a.m., under the direction of Linda Betjeman, who celebrates 30 years as organist and music director for Union Chapel.

Everyone is invited to join the choir. A one-time rehearsal will take place on Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m. at the Chapel.

“Much of Union Chapel’s success is attributable to Linda,” Chairman Jay Sterling said. “Not only has Linda been the Chapel’s organist for 30 years, but her retirement to Shelter Island has allowed her to nurture the Shelter Island Friends of Music. She has cultivated a wide range of artists on the East End, bringing them as soloists to the Chapel.”

The Reverend Dr. Stephen Adkison — Pastor Steve — of Shelter Island Presbyterian Church will preach, “The Master Musician.” As a lifelong musician, he’s happy to be a part of this Sunday service dedicated to music. He’s a percussionist who also plays guitar, bass and keyboards, has played in jazz and rock bands and proudly admits that he has attended over 200 concerts. 

Pastor Steve is a clinically-trained therapist, currently offering counseling in a pastoral setting to parishioners and other Islanders. It’s more of a journey, he said, as he “walks alongside,” the other person, rather than just spouting lessons and advice.

In his free time, he has studied martial arts for over 40 years, and earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. You might see him riding his Harley around the island with his wife, Amy. They have three children: Hannah, April, and Taylor. Amy, who has a master’s degree in education, and her daughter, Taylor, run “Imagination Island,” a child-care program based at the Presbyterian Church.

Linda Betjeman has served as Shelter Island Presbyterian Church’s Minister of Music since 2007 and is director of the Community Chorus. She is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music in New York, where she received a Master’s degree in organ performance and choral conducting.

She was a recitalist at concert series in Manhattan, Westchester and Rockland counties, and performed as a soloist in England and Italy, including St. Peter’s in Rome.

Join us on Choir Sunday, July 31 at 10:30 a.m. as we celebrate Linda’s 30 years of musicianship at the Chapel, as well our 150th anniversary. Pastor Steve commended this landmark anniversary. “It’s a true testament to the Chapel’s ministry,” he said, “offering something of great value to the community that will continue into the future.”

This will be an indoor service, followed by an outdoor reception, catered by Stars Cafe.

Our commemorative book, “All Are Welcome: 150 years of Shelter Island’s Union Chapel in the Grove,” by Carrie Cooperider, is available after the service or at Finley’s Fiction.