Betty (left) and Melanie Trenkamp have been faithful members of the Contemporary Ensemble for 50 years.

Betty and Melanie Trenkamp, the longest-tenured members of the Mother of God Contemporary Ensemble, have retired from music ministry after 50 years.

Betty, a vocalist and guitarist, was a charter member of the group that started in July 1970, and Melanie, who sings and plays tambourine, joined soon after. Since then, both have faithfully shared their talents with the Mother of God community every Sunday at the 11:30 Mass, including typing the song sheets and keeping an archive of liturgy plans and lyrics.

The decision to retire did not come lightly. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had discussed it and decided to remain until the ensemble’s 50th anniversary celebration in July. But the pandemic derailed that plan as churches were closed and music was suspended during liturgies. The group’s anniversary celebration was also postponed until further notice.

Betty and Melanie will remain as active members of Mother of God, so you will still see them singing from the pew on Sundays. We thank them for their dedication, loyalty and service to the parish and, more importantly, for their friendship and support all these years. May they enjoy their much-deserved rest and a newly freed-up schedule on Wednesday nights!