The Encouraging Word, September 2013


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Check out our first edition of the convocation newsletter, The Encouraging Word!

We will publish quarterly editions of the newsletter to our facebook page. Member clergy and lay leaders are welcome to contribute announcements, church bios (called "parish spotlights" in the newsletter), articles, poetry, theological musings, or letters-to-the-editor.

All submissions for the Winter 2013 Edition of The Encouraging Word are due by Nov. 27th, 2013. You can send them via facebook message, or you can email them to

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The Encouraging Word, September 2013

  1. 1. V O L U M E 1 ∙ I S S U E 1 ∙ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 A Publication of The Mid-South Anglican Convocation 133 Executive Dr. ∙ Suite C ∙ Madison, MS ∙ 39110 Issue Highlights Note From the Dean Letter from the Editor Parish Spotlights All Saints Jackson, TN St. Peter’s Birmingham, AL All Saints Hot Springs, AR From Fellow Laborers in the Field Jesus Still Meets Us at His Table Planning Community Events Without Losing Sight of Your Purpose Some Thoughts on Modern Hymnody Convocation Announcements Mid-South Anglicans Communicating Cooperating Collaborating For the Growth of the Kingdom The Mid-South Convocation came into existence a year ago. Its beginning reflects the heart of bish- op Foley Beach, to care for existing parishes and to encourage new mission throughout the Mid-South. The goals were simple! We wanted to incarnate a united Anglicanism with a shared commitment to the Scriptures and Sacraments and a shared dependence upon the Spirit. God has been kind to us in this first year. We are experiencing growing relationships and cooperation between parishes and jurisdictions across Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Western Tennessee and Alabama. This began at our first clergy retreat last November, when we all committed to open communica- tion, active cooperation, and missional collaboration as God gave us opportunity and grace. These priorities led to a joint confirmation by Bishop Foley, which involved several parishes A NOTE FROM THE DEAN
  2. 2. and multiple jurisdictions in early 2013. They were furthered as clergy and laity gath- ered in Memphis last month to discover how we could all move from “Maintenance to Mission”, under the leadership of Canon Phil Ashey of the AAC. Going forward, we will continue to envision, equip and encourage mission and united Anglicanism here in the Mid-South. We have an opportunity to see the Kingdom come and the Gospel transform our region as we will actively partner together. These are ex- citing times and God is at work all around us. Please make it a priority to join together through the Convocation for all of our upcoming events, which you can read more about in the announcements section of the newsletter. Please know that I count it a joy to serve each of you as the Dean of this convocation. I am here to pray for you and support you through the good and the bad you face. Please do not hesitate to call on me. Peace and Grace be with you, Keith+ News from Fr. Keith’s Parish Holy Trinity ∙ Madison, MS Holy Trinity, by God's grace and provision, plans to break ground on their first building in 2014. The parish successfully completed a capital campaign this fall in which over 90 percent of the parishioners sacrificially gave. In addition, the parish has contracted with the firm Young+Weir+Boerner to work up a design for phase 1 (the multi- purpose building seen below). This will have a worship and fellowship space, educa- tional space, a children's playground, and office space. Phase 2, which will come later, will consist of a traditional nave and prayer garden. Please join us in prayer and thanksgiving as we seek to build not only a building, but disciples who will encounter and share the Holy Trinity through worship, community and mission. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3 Well, this is it, our very first issue of the Encouraging Word. As the name implies, our news- letter is intended to be a useful re- source for all of our member clergy, a jumping off point for increased coop- eration and collaboration among the various parishes of the Mid-South An- glican Convoca- tion. Of course, there can be no cooperation or collaboration without shared and open com- munication. It is in the hope of fos- tering such communication that this newsletter has been compiled. Inside, you will find parish spot- lights, articles written and prepared by the staff of some our convocation churches, articles which are meant to inform you about your fellow clergy, about their ministries, and about the successes and failures that they have experienced in their work. We were able to spotlight three parishes in this issue , and we hope to spotlight sever- al more in the winter edition of the Encouraging Word. You will also find three articles writ- ten by some of our fellow laborers in the field, one from a priest and semi- nary professor, one from a youth minister soon to be ordained, and one from a lay leader. These articles address different top- ics associated with ministry in the mid- South, and attempt to answer some of the following questions: What is unique and valuable in Anglican expressions of the his- toric Christian faith? How should we as An- glicans interact with the culture which sur- rounds us and with the people who live among us? What should we hold on to as essential to our faith? What should we be willing to give-up or adapt? The answers provided to these questions by our guest writers are, of course, their opinions. You may disagree with their ap- proaches or with their views. If this is the case, please consider offering a counterpoint to their thoughts in the next issue of the En- couraging Word. Where you find valuable or helpful insights, please also consider mentioning them in the forthcoming publi- cation, as doing so will undoubtedly encour- age and edify our brothers and sister in Christ who worked diligently to pen these submissions. Above all, use these articles and the newsletter in general as a plat- form for increased dialogue between your church and others in our com- munion. Finally, you will find at the end of the newsletter a list of up- coming events and other announcements. All events are listed chronologically, so as to avoid showing partiality to one particular church or diocese. We hope that we have left no one out! Issue Number 2 is scheduled for release in December of 2013. If you have any an- nouncements, articles, or other submissions that you would like to have included in the next issue of the Encouraging Word, be sure to send them to: by November 27th. LETTER ________________________________________________BY Dcn. Brian Larsen Wells Associate Pastor of College, Youth, and Children All Saints Anglican Church ∙ Jackson, TN
  4. 4. Page 4 A ll Saints Anglican Church of Jackson, TN was found- ed in 2004 under the di- rection and oversight of Bishop Gideon Githiga of Thika, Ken- ya. In 2009, All Saints be- came a part of the Angli- can Church in North Amer- ica and came under the local jurisdiction of the In- ternational Diocese of the ACNA. All Saints ministers to a wide range of people in the Jackson area and is particularly interested in making people in our community aware of the treasure trove which is Anglican liturgical worship. We have found that the liturgy is attractive to peo- ple from a broad range of socio- economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds and that it appeals to people of all ages, from 3 – 93. Currently, All Saints is served by Bishop Bill Atwood of the Interna- tional Diocese, Fr. Chuck Filiatreau, Deacon Brian Larsen Wells, Deacon Wesley Gristy, and Dr. Jordan Tang. Bishop Bill Atwood, in addition to serving as the diocesan Bishop of the International Diocese, serves al- so as General Secretary of the Ekkle- sia Society. Through his strong in- ternational ties, Bishop Bill has played key roles in many of the nu- merous efforts to stand for orthodox Anglicanism in the United States. He resides with his wife, Susan, in Frisco, Texas. Fr. Chuck Filiatreau is the Rector of All Saints, having accepted the call to lead the newly-formed congregation in June of 2004. He served as a parish priest in the Episcopal Church for over thirty-five years in the Dioceses of Ar- kansas and West Tennessee. Fr. Chuck and his wife, Gretchen, have been mar- ried for forty-six years, and they have two grown children, Melisande and Beau. Deacon Brian Larsen Wells is the associate Pastor of Children, Youth, and College at All Saints. He has been in the ministry for over twelve years and has worked abroad in locations such as Seoul, South Korea and Montreal, Canada. Besides working at the church, Brian also serves on the Eth- ics Board of the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and is pur- suing his PhD in philosophy from McGill University. He and his wife, Amanda, have been married for eight years. God willing, Brian will be ordained as a priest in November of this year. Parish All Saints Anglican Church Jackson, TN
  5. 5. Page 5 Deacon Wes Gristy is the Associate Pastor of Programs at All Saints, hav- ing come on staff in September of 2012. Though he's been in church ministry for over fifteen years, Wes is relatively new to the Anglican tra- dition, seeking to be or- dained to the priesthood in November of this year. He also serves on the board of a non-profit organization in Nicara- gua called El Ayudante, is married to his wife, Abbie, of twelve years, and has a four-year-old daughter, Natalie, and a one-year- old son, Lawson. Jordan Tang is the Choir Master and Pianist at All Saints. Jordan has previ- ously served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Jackson Symphony. He has been a guest conductor of or- chestras all over the world and has served as an adjunct professor at sev- eral universities. He received his PhD in music from the University of Utah. With such a talented and passionate group of people working on staff, it is no wonder that All Saints has almost doubled in size over the past two years, and now serves nearly 130 peo- ple each Sunday! May God continue to bless the work of this church in Jack- son! Spotlights S t. Peter’s Anglican Church, lo- cated in the Birmingham, AL suburb of Mountain Brook, is called by God to a special min- istry of leadership develop- ment. Working with Beeson Divinity School as an approved mentoring site, St. Peter’s provides structured ministry opportunities which not only include the usual children’s or youth ministry work, but also participation in staff and committee meetings, budget planning, structuring and leading worship services, and managing the day-to -day logistics of a church (something seminarians are not typically taught in school). The program is under the oversight of the Pastor of St. Peter’s, the Rev. Dr. Mark Quay, and the church’s Leadership Development Team, chaired by Ken Mah- ler, Vice President for National Ac- counts at Assurant Corporation. The team is composed of corporate execu- St. Peter’s Anglican Church Birmingham, AL
  6. 6. Page 6 tives, medical professionals, and col- lege administrators. It reaches out to local colleges and seminaries to re- cruit potential interns and also pro- vides regular meetings with influential lay leaders to discuss such issues as strategic plan- ning, decision making, and con- flict resolution, all from a Christian worldview. Cur- rently there are four paid interns in the program, with an additional three prospective interns in the pipeline. St. Peter’s will be 11 years old this October. Founded as an Anglican Mission in the Americas parish, it joined the Anglican Diocese of the South in October 2012 at its 10th anniversary celebration, coming under the oversight of Bishop Foley Beech. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Foley Beach is the Rector and Pastor of Holy Cross An- glican Church in Loganville, Georgia. and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South. Dr. Beach is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Semi- nary, the School of Theology at the University of the South, and Georgia State University. He has served in ministry with Young Life, the Episco- pal Church, and the Angli- can Church. His passion is to share the Word of God in such a way as to help oth- ers discover the incredible living Jesus. Married for over 28 years, he and his wife, Allison, have two children. Fr. Mark Quay is assisted at Saint Pe- ter’s by members of the ministry staff, —Mr. Harold Edington, the Family Life Minister, and Fr. Glandion Carney, who assists with the Pastoral Care Pro- gram—as well as by several important resident clergy and ministry interns. For more information about St. Peter’s, it’s leadership development program, or its staff and interns, please contact Fr. Mark Quay or visit the church website at
  7. 7. Page 7 A ll Saints Anglican Church of Hot Springs, AR formed No- vember 1, 2003 – the very first All Saints Day of its history. Over the ten years since that day, All Saints has been blessed again and again as they remained focused on God and upon His Holy Word. Several gracious benefactors need be mentioned in rela- tion to these blessings—the Faith Lutheran congregation, Mr. Phil Hale of Caruth Village Funeral Home, and the late June Snow at Coronado Community Center. All of these men and women have graciously provided worship space to the con- gregation over the years. At pre- sent, All Saints worships in a leased space at 10 Ponderosa Lane. Sun- day services begin at 10:30 and in- clude communion each Sunday. But, soon All Saints will be moving…. On June 29, 2013 at 6:00 p.m., All Saints Anglican Church celebrated the realization of a long time dream. The congregation has been saving funds over the past several years towards the purchase of a plot of land to eventu- ally build a church home upon. So, on that glorious Saturday evening in June, the church family gathered on their new- ly purchased land with joy in their hearts. Visions for their new church building were mingled with memories of their ex- citing history. Once more, the All Saints family was moving forward in faith! Rev. Rick Moore, pastor, gathered eve- ryone together to listen to God’s Holy Word as recorded in scriptures and Psalms. With songs of praise and pray- ers of thanksgiving, thoughts turned from the excitement of building a church to a focus on God’s provision. The peo- ple of All Saints know that they must seek His will daily in the coming months and years. Rev. Moore prayed for God to bless the land, the church to be built on it, and the people who would come to worship, study, pray, and enjoy fellowship in that church. Gary Weeter, the Sr. Warden, presented a conceptual site plan for the proposed church building. He encouraged the con- gregation to Imagine the Possibilities when God is Our Focus. After a delightful time walking on the land and imagining the placement of church, memorial gardens, and parking lot, Gary and Elaine Weeter hosted a pot luck dinner at their home. The church is to be built at the corner of Balearic Road and Jardinero Drive and will share a border with the 9th hole at Coro- nado Golf Course. This is perfect for the congregation’s many golfers! All Saints invites the community and summer visitors to join them for worship. While you are visiting, take time to see the model of the new church building. If you are looking for a warm and welcoming church home that is firmly rooted in tradi- tional Christianity, accepts Christ as their Savior, and believes salvation comes by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, come for a visit. All Saints Anglican Church is a member of the Anglican Church of North America, An- glican Diocese of the South, under the episcopal oversight of Bishop Foley Beech. All Saints Anglican Church Hot Springs, AR
  8. 8. Page 8 E ucharistic celebration is central to Anglican piety. It is a key element of Prayer Book wor- ship, and has been since Cranmer. My own journey into Anglicanism was driven in large part by a growing awareness that the Eu- charist is central to Christian worship. I grew up in a church body which viewed liturgy with suspicion and rarely observed the sacraments. In college I began attending a non- denominational charismatic church. The peo- ple of this congregation would never have de- scribed themselves as sacramen- tal, and they certainly were not liturgical. Nevertheless, the first time I participated in one of their rare Communion services I had an overwhelming sense that Je- sus was present. I did not know what to make of the experience, but I knew after that evening that Jesus meets with His people at the Table. Some years later, after finishing my seminary training, I served as a youth minister. Again, this was a thoroughly non-liturgical and – sacramental church, but that did not prevent Jesus from showing up at the Eucharist. On Holy Wednesday we observed the Lord’s Sup- per. It did not seem at first that anything unu- sual was happening. Two of the especially de- vout kids in my youth group were clearly blessed in receiving the Eucharist, but nothing beyond that was apparent. I was in for a shock, though: three girls in the group ap- proached me afterward and asked me to pray with them that Christ would give them grace to lead a new life. These girls were already nice, churchgoing teenagers, but that night was a transforming mo- ment for them. The kicker? No invitation had been giv- en, no altar-call made. Very simply, Jesus met them at His Table and they realized they wanted more of Him—much more. During my seminary training I remember read- ing Calvin’s discussion of Eucharist in the Institutes and being both excited at the beauty of it and a bit suspicious of how “Catholic” it sounded to my very Protestant ears. Going on to graduate study and engag- ing Luther’s writings on the Eucharist was even more challenging for me, but it also made sense of my weekly experience of Jesus’ presence at the Table in the Anglican parish we had by then begun to attend. These two The first time I participated in … Communion services, I had an overwhelming sense that Jesus was present. Jesus Still Meets Us at His Table ARTICLE BY Fr. Carey Vinzant, PhD_____________________________________________ Prof. of Systematic and Historical Theology Wesley Biblical Seminary ∙ Jackson MS
  9. 9. Page 9 giants of the Reformation, Luther and Cal- vin, certainly disagreed about some aspects of Eucharistic doctrine, but on this point they were patently agreed: in the bread and wine the believer receives the nourish- ment of Jesus’ Body and Blood. Against their Roman contemporaries, both upheld the necessity of faith to receiving the bene- fits of the Eucharist. The Lord’s Supper does not magically absolve and transform the unrepentant. Against the mainstream of the Swiss Reformation, both held that more happens in the Eucharist than mindfulness of Christ. Eucharist is a means of grace; it is first something God does and only second- arily something the Church does. These two emphases— the importance of faith and the transforming presence and power of Christ in the Eucharist— clearly emerge in the Book of Common Prayer as well. In the 1549 BCP, the words for administra- tion of the bread are: “The Body of our Lord Je- sus Christ, which was giv- en for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto ever- lasting life.” This is a clear statement that what God’s people receive is not merely bread—it is the Corpus Christi. Cranmer’s words in the 1552 BCP imply a more Protestant emphasis: “Take, eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith.” There is no mention here of Christ’s Body; the em- phasis is upon personal faith. By 1559, however, the words of administration had taken what we know as their classic shape: “The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take, eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee and feed on Him in thy heart by faith.” By combining the 1549 words with those from 1552, the 1559 BCP speaks a better word than either earlier version could on its own. The emphasis on the Eucharist as the Body of Christ reminds us that we are not merely left to our own resources to muster enough faith or religious feeling to “do it right.” In the Eucharist Jesus comes and gives us His Body and Blood in the bread and the wine. Faith, humble gratitude, and joy are the most natural responses in the world to such an encounter. On the other hand, the emphasis on remembering Christ and personal faith is a pointed exhortation to us: the Eucharist does not deliver grace apart from faith. It is not a magical cure for death; rather, it reminds us of Jesus, Who died for our sins, and it calls us to “sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death” in order that we may “attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:10-11). The Eucharist calls us to discipleship. One key issue in the Reformation was, “What is the Church?” Luther argued that the Church was defined by faithful- ness in proclaiming the Gospel and administer- ing the sacraments. The BCP follows this basic pattern, presenting the ministries of Word and Table as the two key events in Anglican wor- ship. In the Liturgy of the Word we hear about who God is, who we are, why we need Christ, and how God intends His people to live in His world. In the prayers and the penitential order we face the reality that God’s Kingdom has not come in all its full- ness, nor are we yet the fully committed Kingdom citizens God intends us to be. We own these painful realities, praying for what is broken in our world, confessing our sins, and asking to be forgiven and transformed. We then hear the absolution and prepare to go to the Lord’s Table. The tension we ex- perience in the time between the end of the Sermon and the Eucharist is the tug of war between that in us which is dying with this world and that which is being drawn for- ward toward the coming Kingdom. Through the bread and wine Christ feeds us with his Body and Blood, nourishing the new people we are becoming, the Kingdom citizens God is making of us.
  10. 10. Page 10 Planning community events without losing sight of your purpose and vision... D uring my time as an undergrad- uate student, I had the privilege of working as a Resident Assis- tant in my college’s dormitories. One of my responsibilities as a Resident Assistant was to organize and implement various programs throughout the year that could increase student involvement in and around the campus. These pro- grams could be anything from educa- tional activities, to community service projects, to team building games. The intended goal of these programs was to further the educational experi- ence of the students. However, more of- ten than not, we as RA’s simply executed an event without paying much attention to that ultimate goal. For example, one of our annual social programs consisted of a late night breakfast, where the Resi- dent Assistants would cook a meal for the students in their complexes. The preparation and implementation of the breakfast was fast-paced, highly stressful, and, quite frankly, a bit overwhelming. When we had finally served the last plate of food and cleaned up the kitchen, we all happily patted ourselves on the back, believing that we had done some really great work that night. In retrospect, though, I ask myself, "Was this really a successful event? Did the students bene- fit from our activity in a lasting way? Did we really do what we were asked to do?" The truth is that we spent a significant amount of our RA funds on that event, wore ourselves out executing it, and then watched the students eat and leave with- out building any new or meaningful rela- tionships with them. To make matters worse, a number of students wanted to come to the event, but, seeing how crowded the room was at the height of the activity, they simply went to eat at the campus dining hall instead. Accord- ing to our goal of enhancing the stu- dents’ educational experience, the late night breakfast was a dud. ARTICLE BY Cameron Scalera_________________________________________________ Minister to Youth and Families Faith Anglican Church ∙ Cordova, TN
  11. 11. Page 11 Social programs like the student break- fast are not at their core bad programs. They just need to be focused according to a clear and distinct purpose. With re- gard to church programs, par- ticularly outreach programs, that purpose must be the ex- pansion of the church’s minis- try into the world around it. Towards the end of October, Faith Anglican Church in Cor- dova, TN, will be implementing a Trunk or Treat program de- signed to offer a safe and fun alternative to normal trick or treating. This program is purposefully geared to- ward community outreach. We at the church will devote a great deal of energy to planning the event and to organizing games, food, parking, bouncy houses, costumes, and an absolute smorgasbord of candy. However, if this is all that we do, then we will have achieved little for the kingdom. We also hope to develop a strategy for reaching young children and families in our area with the message of Christ. These strategies include collecting attendees’ contact information for future connection, promoting our ministries during the event, and enlisting a team of greeters to engage our guests in casual conver- sation during the event. This team of greeters will serve as ambassa- dors for the church and will begin the process of integrating visitors into our community and making them feel welcome in our midst. In the next issue of “The Encouraging Word,” we will be sure to share more de- tails of our process, as well as give an evaluation of our event. Blessings to all of you in your own activities and endeav- ors!
  12. 12. Some Thoughts On Modern Hymnody Over the years, I have come to realize that so much of our musical prefer- ence is based in memory. For in- stance, I have warm memories of sitting on my mother’s lap, my head resting on her chest, listening as she sang out in her perfect alto voice hymns like Take My Life and Let it Be. I would twist the string of pearls that she always wore to church around her neck, and I would think how beautiful those pearls were. I would think about how, one day when I was old enough, I would stand and sing in church, maybe wearing a beautiful string of pearls like my mom’s. I also remember standing beside my father one Easter morning. He had already opened his hymnal to the appropriate page, because, of course, we would be singing his favorite song, Jesus Christ is Risen Today. After all, what is Easter without that tune? I remem- ber that he always made sure to hold the hymnal down so that I could see the words, and, even though I couldn’t read very well yet, he would run his machinist’s fingers be- low the lines of music so that I could follow along. Many of us have experiences like these, ex- periences that have shaped the way that we musically relate to God, to one another, and even to ourselves. I’m sure that there are hymns or praise songs that you know by heart and can easily recognize even before their first line has been completed. Un- doubtedly, some of these songs are intimate- ly connected to certain seasons of your life. Music can capture a particular feeling or thought in a way that no other media can. We express our emotions and affections through song, some of us by writing, some through singing, and some simply by listen- ing. And, as with all things that we are so deeply and personally invested in, music can ARTICLE _________________________________________________BY Amanda Larsen Wells Worship Leader and Musical Accompanist Jackson, TN Page 12
  13. 13. Page 13 be a hot-button issue. For instance, though I know that the church has historically used sev- eral different hymn tunes in the performance of Take My Life and Let it Be, the “correct” version will (in my eyes) always be that one that my mother sang while I twiddled with her pearls. Music is simply that deeply ingrained in our lives! The church certainly recognizes these facts, and I believe that it has done a great service through the ages of offering us hymns, psalms, and service music which have been and which continue to be written in the “language of the people.” By language of the people, I mean that the church has al- ways attempted to adapt its mode of mu- sical expression to its people in one way or another. It has em- braced instrumenta- tion familiar to the everyday man at vari- ous points in its histo- ry, voices and arrange- ments that would be familiar to a people’s way of hearing, words and lyrics which spoke to the eternal truth of God’s word but which also addressed in a timely way the actual lived experience of the people in this world. Piano, organ, chanting, all of these were musical “languages” that the people embraced at one point or another in the church’s history. And I believe that, as time has progressed, the language of the people has changed yet again. If you turn on the radio, it is unlikely that you will hear classical piano, organ, or chanting. The everyday man is not as familiar with these “languages” anymore. So it is time for the church to once again adapt in order to embrace the people’s new mode of musical ex- pression. We do not want to throw out the beautiful hymns, psalms, and chants that have been handed down to us from antiquity, but we do have to ask ourselves, “How can we translate these beautiful hymns of old into the new language of the people? How do we en- sure that our modern church music is accessi- ble to our congregants, so that the people in the pews can actually participate in its signing, even as we attempt to hold onto all that is good and wonderful from our past?” There is nothing so sad to me as a congre- gation of believers dully listening to the choir or the worship leaders perform musi- cal selections during the Eucharistic service. The people should be singing! It is the duty of the choir master or the worship leader to engage the people in the worship of God with their whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength. If you find in your congrega- tion that the people are not so engaged or that they are not actively participating in the worship of our Lord alongside the choir, you must stop and assess the situation. Are they failing to par- ticipate because the music is it too difficult for them to sing? Or is the music just unfamiliar to them? Here are some rules of thumb that I have used in leading congregational worship over the past 10 years, rules that I think can be useful for con- gregations of all sizes and make-ups. My prayer is that these simple principles would prove help- ful to you if and when you should begin to assess your own service music. Know how to adapt your sound to the ears of the people. People are very familiar with certain modern modes of instrumenta- tion—Piano/Keyboard, guitar, bass, and drums (kit/hand drums etc). These are instruments that they hear in their daily interaction with music; this is the language that they hear throughout the week in their musical space.
  14. 14. Using these instruments in Sunday worship helps the people to connect with the theolo- gy that we are proclaiming in song. People are also very comfortable these days follow- ing a mic’d choral leader. When we sing our hearts out in the car to our favorite songs, it’s usually accompanying a solo singer, not a choir of singers. Having a clear and defined leader who is mic’d and makes it easier for the people to follow the melodies. Recognize that people’s musical back- grounds are very different than they once were. People aren’t necessarily trained mu- sically in school these days. Those of a certain age will remember how we were taught to sing classically, how to use our voices to reach higher notes. Sadly, in schools, this is no longer a priority and hasn't been for quite some time. Choir, if available at all, is an elective, and, from what I have noticed of late, these elective groups tend to sing quite a bit of mod- ern music—radio music—not classics, and not songs with a wide range of notes. Classical studies are reserved for the few who can qualify for special All State audition choirs or who go on to higher level studies. Therefore, it is fair to assume that your average congre- gant—even your average choir member!— will not have the skills to sing complicated hymns, follow shape reading psalters, or hit those high notes. What I have noticed is that your average woman will be an alto, and will be uncomfortable singing over a C on the staff. Men’s voices tend to vary more from person to person, but they also seem to be limited in their individual ranges. Keep it simple. I have also noticed that people these days connect with very simple melodies. The history of music reveals that there is a regular swing between the complex and the simple as regards melody lines and musical composition. We are in an era that embraces simple hymnody. Thus, a good rule that I have used in my own hymn writing is to stay within about 5 or 6 notes and not to move around too much melodically. Again, this comes from being familiar with the mod- ern music that your congregants are listening to on a day to day basis; for better or worse, music on the radio is very simple, pretty re- petitive, and very memorizable. Apply basic musical theory. So how do we move from difficult, “un-singable” church music, still desiring to preserve our hymns and tradi- tions, but speaking them in the lan- guage of the peo- ple? In my experi- ence it is not as dif- ficult as one might initially think. Here are some sugges- tions. First,, drop the keys! We can easily keep most melodies of the hymns we sing. Most people are familiar with the tunes and have had connections to this hymn music throughout their whole lives. But they’re confused as to why they can’t sing the songs with which they have such an intimate connection. It’s very simple. The music is too high for them to sing without proper vocal training. The melody line is what you want most people singing. If they are not musically trained, they will not easily find the harmony line, so you want the melo- dy to be in a key that is comfortable for the average vocalist. I have noticed that if you drop the key about 2 or 3 full keys you will land in a comfortable zone. When transpos- ing (changing the keys), make sure your mu- sic minister works with a male singer and a female singer (preferably average singers from your congregation, not the best singers from the choir) to make sure that the new keys are comfortable for both male and fe- Page 14
  15. 15. Page 15 male ranges. Second, stay within the major triad in your harmonies. Using dissonant chords can be really powerful in anthems, or special music, but the average congregant in the pews will not be able to follow such nota- tions, and people will wonder if they’re sing- ing the wrong note or if someone is playing the wrong chord. The focus should be on worship, and ease of wor- ship, not the intricacies of the music itself. Do-it-yourself or use these helpful resources. Us- ing the principles listed in the paragraph above, you can re- write the melodies of old hymn tunes, add choruses to songs, and write some of your own service music for psalms. But there are also some fan- tastic resources out today for worship leaders and choir masters. I love to use hymns from Indelible Grace (, a group based out of Nashville, TN who writes new hymn tunes for classic songs and anthems. Keith and Kristyn Getty along with Stuart Townend are some of the premier modern hymn writers and have produced some songs with fantastic lyrics (Behold the Lamb is one of my favorite communion hymns). Chris Tomlin has recently released a version of Crown Him With Many Crowns in which he added a very simple chorus and updated the music of the hymn but maintained the basic melody and message of the song. And bands such as Jars of Clay have released whole albums of mod- ern hymns, some updated classics and some beautiful originals (see their album Redemp- tion Songs). Look for the best, but the best in all. One of the blessings of our Hymnal and our Angli- can tradition is that they have consistently called the people to elevate their worship of God, to recognize Him as holy and worthy of our praise, and to prepare the very best offer- ings we can bring to Him. Therefore, I advise you to use excellent musicians and leaders, challenging them to rehearse often and to conduct themselves with an attitude of rever- ence. What they bring to God and to your services should be the very best of them- selves! Using "modern" or "contemporary" music is not an excuse for substandard musi- cianship or lyrics. The theology we sing is just as important as the theology we read and hear from the pulpit. At the same time, be inclusive. While there may be some in your congregation that are especially gifted in mu- sic, there may be some less gifted people who want to participate as well. Recognize that they have something to offer God, too. Find a spot for eve- ryone who desires to partici- pate...even if that means that some people sing further away from the mic’s than oth- ers! But know that every of- fering is valuable, even those that might not be technically perfect. I have known far too many people who have been hurt by the exclusivity of choirs, praise teams, or wor- ship bands, and, while I have always been on the other side—in the band or leading the team—I have seen the hurt that happens when someone feels that he or she is not good enough to participate. In closing, whether your parish chooses to use very traditional music with choirs and or- gans or a blend of traditional and contempo- rary that utilizes praise teams and guitars, our focus should be on glorifying our Lord through the participation of our parishioners. Are people singing? Can your average at- tendee participate, or are they confused? Our focus is Christ, we want to worship Him through all that we do, we want to raise our voices loud in praise to God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We know that the Anglican Church was born so that the people could worship in their own language. Let’s make sure that we’re still doing that!
  16. 16. Page 16 International Diocese 2013 Clergy and Spouse Retreat Monday, October 7 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 Christ Our King ∙ New Braunfels, TX Don’t Miss Out! Convocation Announcements What is the Clergy and Spouse Retreat? A biannual retreat held for all International Diocese Clergy and their Spouses. This year’s retreat will feature a time of fellowhip., encouragement, and prayer, as well as teaching sessions with Allan Wright and Fred Markert. What is the Cost? We are keeping the cost for this event as low as possible. Registration, all meals, and out- ings to the Alamo and Riverwalk are all included in the $50 registration fee. Lodging is provided at the Comfort Inn and Suites for $68 per night. How do I register? You may register online at Please contact Suzie Johnson ( to make hotel reservations. ________________________________________Schedule______________________________________________ Monday October 7th All Day - Shuttles from airport 6:00pm - Welcome Supper Tuesday October 8th 8:00am - 8:30am: Coffee & Pastries Worship Time 8:30am - 9:30am: Bible Study, Sharing & Prayer 9:45am - 10:45am: Alan Wright 11:00am - 12 noon: Alan Wright 12 noon - 1:00pm: Lunch 1:00pm - 2:00pm: Marriage Ministry & Re- sources 2:00pm - 2:30pm: Cold Drinks & Snacks 2:30pm - 3:45pm: Alan Wright 4:00pm - 5:30pm: Discussion 6:00pm: Dinner Wednesday October 9th 8:00am - 8:30am: Coffee & Pastries Worship Time 8:30am - 9:30am: Bible Study, Sharing & Prayer 9:45am - 10:45am: Alan Wright 11:00am - 12 noon: Fred Markert 12 noon - 1:00pm: Lunch 1:00pm - 2:00pm: Fred Markert 2:00pm - 2:30pm: Cold Drinks & Snacks 2:30pm - 3:45pm: Prayer over Clergy & Churches 4:15pm - 5:30pm: iDio Life 6:00pm: Alamo and "Fiesta iDio Dinner" on the San Antonio Riverwalk! Thursday October 10th All Day - Shuttles from airport
  17. 17. Page 17 Anglican Diocese of the South 2013 Synod Friday, November 1 – Saturday, November 2, 2013 Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral 3836 Oak Grove Road Southwest Loganville, GA 30052 What is Synod? Synod is a time for us to worship together, to fellowship, to learn together, and to discern together. While important decisions are made in our plenary sessions, there are so many other great events going on as well. During our plenary sessions, lay delegates who have been elected by member congregation have seat, voice and vote. Resident clergy have seat, voice, and vote as well. Even if you aren’t participating in the plenary sessions, Synod is a great opportunity for worship, fellowship, and learning. Join us! ________________________________________General Schedule_________________________________________ ______________________________Seminars/Workshops – Saturday at 10am_________________________ Ordinations On Saturday, after the official close of Synod, we will hold our annual Diocesan ordination service. Please stay, if you are able, to celebrate God’s work in our diocese! How do I register? Online Registration will begin in early September at Registration costs are very low: $25.00 for Observers, $35.00 for Delegates. Registration includes a box lunch on Saturday. There will also be a dinner with the bishop on Friday night, with pre-purchased tickets at $10.00. A list of local hotels will be provided, and host families will be available upon request. We hope to see you there! Friday, November 1, 2013 1:30 - 2:00 Clergy Pre-Registration 2:00 - 3:00 Bishops Meeting with Clergy in Worship Space 3:00 - 4:30 Clergy Convocation Meetings with Deans 4:30 - 5:30 Registration for Synod 5:30 - 7:00 Synod Opening Worship 7:00 Dinner on the Grounds with the Bishop ($10 for pre- purchased tickets) Saturday, November 2, 2013 8:30 - 9:00 Morning Prayer 9:00 - 9:50 Plenary Session 1 10:00 - 11:00 Seminars/Workshops 11:15 - 11:50 Plenary Session 2 11:50 - 12:00 Noonday Prayers 12:00 - 1:00 Lunch 1:15 - 2:00 Plenary Session 3 2:30 - 4:00 Ordination Service Aaron R. Anglican Frontier Mission “Catechesis Reawakened” Tripp Prince, New Grace Church, Fleming Island, Florida “Alpha as a Vehicle for Change and Evangelism” John Richardson, Church Planter and Alpha Atlanta Regional Leader “The New Altar Guild Manual and Your Church” Gail Kelly, Holy Cross Anglican Church “How You and Your Congregation Can Support Life” Georgette Forney, Anglicans for Life “Grace and Giving: Anglicans and Social Justice” Nancy Norton, Anglican Relief and Development Fund “Planting Churches: Why? How? Where? When?” Dan Alger, Church Planter; Staff Member, Anglican 1000 “Music in Worship: The Best of the Old and the Best of the New” David Clifton, Music Director, Apostles, Knoxville, TN “Welcoming and Incorporating Youth and Young Adults” Don Shepson, Young Anglicans Project; Chair of Minis- try & Leadership, Toccoa Falls College “6 Ways to Reach God’s World”
  18. 18. Page 18 Ordinations happening within the Convocation, God willing! November 2, 2013 @ 2:30 pm November 9, 2013 @ 10:00 am Please let us know if you or someone at your church will be ordained in the coming months! Jesus Loves Memphis October 26, 2013 @ 8:00 am 2013 marks the third year for the Jesus Loves Memphis Project, “a movement among evangelical churches in Memphis to lift up the name of Jesus Christ through acts of kindness and projects of community service.” On Saturday, October 26, participants from Faith Anglican will gather at 8 am with volunteers from churches around the city to work on projects that range from community improvements (lawn care, painting, repairs) to food and clothing distribution. After the morning’s work, the teams will stop for lunch and fellowship, followed by a time of praise and prayer. For more information, visit the event website: For His Kingdom!
  19. 19. Important events in the lives of Convocation Churches: Grace Church ∙ Olive Branch, MS Grace Church began to take shape in the heart of Chas Williams in 2006, when he began to act on a calling from God to plant a church in Desoto County, MS. The small group who shared his vision started Bible Study groups and worship services in their homes. Grace Church was officially launched on Palm Sunday, 2007 and began worshiping at the Olive Branch Karate School. In 2008 we began to share worship space with the Olive Branch Seventh Day Adventist Church and entered into a lease/ purchase agreement for that space. On July 31, 2013 we secured the loan to purchase the property. Praise God!!! Help us rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Christ! Convocation-Wide Confirmation Location to be announced Save the Date! Page 19 Upcoming Convocation Retreat Dec. 5-6, 2013 Cost: $123 for single room $78 for shared room Save the Date!
  20. 20. Mid-South Anglican Convocation 102 Elm Court Madison, MS 39110 Recipient's Address Here Presorted Standard US Postage Here For more news and information