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Sunday, April 13, 2014
Palm / Passion Sunday
Pastor Bob Higle
Rev. Robert A. Higle, Senior Minister
Rev. Robert A. Higle (Bob) was ordained into Christian Ministry by the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak of Michigan in 2010 after licensure for ministry by the Southeast Michigan Association of Congregational Churches (SEMACC) in 2009. Bob is a member of the Executive Board serving as Secretary for the Michigan Conference of Congregational Christian Churches. Bob has served on the Board of Christian Education for the SEMACC. Bob provided interim support throughout the Southeast Michigan congregations of Wayne, Clarkston, and Royal Oak where the churches were without a minister or in the case of Royal Oak while their senior minister was on sabbatical. In addition, Bob provided pulpit supply and emergency support for Hope Congregational Church of Livonia, Meadowbrook Congregational Church of Novi, North Congregational Church of Farmington Hills, Britton Congregational Church, the First Congregational Churches of Clarkston, Rockwood, Royal Oak, and Wayne. Bob has been a regular guest minister at Pine Hill Congregational Church in West Bloomfield where his wife Megan is Minister of Music.
Bob received his Master of Divinity in 2009 from The Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit. Bob served as Chaplain for a full year receiving two units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit. Bob received "The Presiding Bishop's Certificate in Church Music" - a two year leadership program for musicians serving small congregations, sponsored by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopalian Church in the USA (2004). Bob continues his studies in both Hebrew and Greek as well as Pastoral Care, Church Leadership, and Management.
Bob is the eldest of six children growing up in Detroit and was raised Roman Catholic. At an early age, Bob was discerning the priesthood but left Catholicism in his mid-twenties realizing the institution was far from recognizing the criticality of women as equals and partners in ministry; and a gender unbiased acceptance for all God's people. Bob spent the next couple of decades working within the Community and University Theater circuit of the Southeast where he met (1998) his wife Megan and together continued their work within many of the community theaters in Royal Oak, Troy, and Rochester Hills performing as well as directing both adults and youth.
Bob and Megan have two adult sons. Tim (21) is pursuing Music Education with a minor in Vocal Performance from Oakland University and is a paid chorister for St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Detroit. Tony (19) is at Oakland Community College and loves philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and is a terrific humorist. Megan serves as adjunct faculty at Marygrove College (BMUS - Vocal Performance) and Oakland University (MMUS - Choral Conducting). Their "babies" include a 90 pound black lab named Abbey, two cats named Elijah and Jeremiah.
John Dale Smith, Director of Music/Communication/Events
John Dale Smith is well-known in musical circles in the Lansing area and has experience in virtually all areas associated with musical performance, as producer, performer, and coordinator for a wide variety of musical events. He is leader of the John Dale Quintet, and co-leader of J & J Sounds. John received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Michigan State University. His professional affiliations include memberships in Phi Mu Alpha and the honorary Pi Kappa Lambda music fraternities. John recently retired from a 28 year career at Lansing Community College where he served in a number of capacities, including Program Director of Music, Director of Performing Arts, and most recently as Director of Communication and College Events. While at LCC John had positions at two Lansing churches, as Coordinator of Music at First Presbyterian Church, and for 10 years as the Director of Music at Mount Hope Presbyterian Church where his duties included directing the choir and playing piano for services.
In addition to these duties John has been very active in many community organizations, including the American Heart Association, Rotary Club of Lansing, the University Club of Michigan State University, and the Arts Council Center of Lansing, having served on the boards of directors of the latter two organizations. John is married to Janine Novenske Smith, who is the Director of Choirs at University Lutheran Church in East Lansing and an adjunct instructor at LCC. John and Janine have two children, Jennifer and Jonathan, both of whom are active in the performing arts.