"Anglicans will now be able to see and hear singer-songwriter Jaylene Johnson perform her song 'Hope' in a video posted to the Anglican Church of Canada website at anglican.ca/hopesong. The song which won the 2011 'Living the Marks of Mission' song competition, was chosen from more than 70 entries that ranged from sacred to folk and rock genres. 'Hope' was produced by Randy Murray, communications director for the diocese of New Westminster, and filmed by Anglican Video. 'We love the song and working with Jaylene', says Anglican Video senior producer Lisa Barry. 'I think people are really going to like the song'. Johnson, who is also ministry co-ordinator at saint benedict's table, an Anglican missional church in Winnipeg, wrote the song in 2010 in collaboration with Jim Kimball, a Nashville-based guitar player who also works with country music stars such as Reba McEntire". [Text of entire article.]
The author speaks to two church music directors about Advent and Christmas music and concerts: Ruth Widdicombe, at St. Margaret's Anglican Church in Winnipeg, Man., and Sandra Bender, at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City. "As for the Advent concert itself, 'it's a service that has no sermon', [Bender] the trained opera singer said. '[But] it's a lot like a concert', and choosing the music, for her, is a matter of 'how Advent-y versus Christmas-y you want to make it', choosing between choral pieces and hymns'." "I do see music as something that draws people to a church in a way nothing else can" says Bender. "Widdicombe agrees that there is something special about an Advent concert. 'The church is packed for the Advent Festival', Widdicombe wrote. 'The church is dark, with a few candles lit'. Even though everyone is welcome in the church at any time of year, on Christmas Eve, 'many people from the wider community attend these services, even whose who would perhaps not call themselves Christians', says Widdicombe".
"The Anglican Church of Canada has undertaken a bold new program to encourage the faithful to better understand how they are living out the Marks of Mission". "The Sunday school curriculum contest encourages Sunday school teachers to share their ideas for a Marks of Mission children's resource. Four winners -- one from each ecclesiastical province -- will be flown to Toronto in November 2011 for a weekend workshop given by a top children's educator. Winners will also receive a gift for their Sunday school. The Song Contest asks those who have written a song that reflects any or all of the Marks of Mission to send in a home recording of the song. The winner will receive a professional recording session and the song will be promoted throughout the Anglican Church of Canada". "All submissions must be received by Oct. 14 ".
"Lately I have been thinking a great deal about the concept of pilgrimage as a spiritual exercise". "But it is not just the prospect if travel that has placed pilgrimage on my mind. On July 3, 2008, the Canadian violinist Oliver Schroer succumbed to leukemia." Schroer produced "'Hymns and Hers' a project he described as an album of hymns and introspective ensemble pieces" but "It is not 'Hymns and Hers' that is relevant here, but rather the 2006 Camino album, a beautifully packaged audio journey of the 1000-kilometre pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago that the musician made in 2004. Accompanied by his wife and two friends, Schroer packed along his violin and portable recording equipment, and created atmospheric and evocative improvised pieces in churches and on roadsides along the walk. One of the friends on the pilgrimage was the photographer Peter Coffman, and his work is presented in the 28-page CD booklet, offering visual illumination to the recordings". "With time to prepare to die -- with time to put one's life in perspective and one's soul in order -- death can be faced with calm confidence. I can only speculate here ... but if one has listened carefully to Camino, it is not hard to imagine that the long walk had something to do with Schroer being able to die well."
Author "is the founding pastor of St. Benedict's Table, an Anglican congregation in Winnipeg, Man."
"In his Youth View column, Andrew Stephens-Rennie ['So I'll be bold', Nov. 2012, p. 4] says that songs from the secular canon '.. can also call us back to the table, back to the cross, back to the life we find in Jesus Christ'. Traditional hymns have a place in our liturgy, as do newer, contemporary ones. We must find a way to mingle them, to enrich our worship, making it something that speaks to, nurtures and empowers all Anglicans. If we don't, how can we invite others into a faith community that is rigid and inflexible in worship ? Remember: 'Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never break !'"
"Editor's note: At the conclusion of our February  feature article entitled 'Churches sing a new song unto the Lord', we invited readers to tell us about 'unusual' church music , or music that is atypical in the context of the church".
Text of letter follows: Let me tell you my favourite story about the traditional Anglican music genre. One of the ladies of the church approached my wife, who is a well-known professional popular singer, to ask if she was coming to the carol concert. My wife replied that unfortunately she was performing on that date. With pride, I added that she would be leading carols in front of an audience of 2,500. 'That's a pity' the lady replied. 'We only get about 40 at our carol concert, so we needed you two to add a couple more to the numbers in the nave. I think we might need a forum to discuss alternative music traditions in the Anglican church". [Text of entire article.]
Letter also accompanied by editorial cartoon showing group of three musicians with guitar, microphone and drum, being greeting by church usher, holding book of "Hymns Ancient" saying: "Oh good, we could use some more strong voices in the pews".
"Kudos to any church that fundraises to purchase a church organ. The beautiful sound of a good organ fills the church, our hearts and our souls. Again, thanks to Liz Russell (Canmore, Alta.) for using technology to provide music -- and organ music at that -- to parishes that d not have music ['Technology subs for organs', Feb. 2014, p. 2]. That was a great article. It is unfortunate that many people do not appreciate, or probably have not heard, the sound of the 'king of instruments'. I am a church musician myself and was in Melk, Austria one Sunday morning. I went to mass. As I opened the door, the organ was filling the church with music and rumbling through the floors. I just had to sit down. In Leipzig, Germany, I went to J.S. Bach's church. The organist was practising. I sat down by Bach's tomb and listened. Out churches are missing out Mona wonderful experience". [Text of entire article.]