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Encouragement Needed!

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  • Encouragement Needed!



    Just watched a 30 min. clip about the 'new church' in England. "New" as in.... church in a pub, church in a community hall, church in a house.... first let me say I am all for this. I did it myself during university. However, I still sang with my prof. at his church in a 50 voice choir doing trad. Lutheran liturgy and rep. </P>


    The video was being watched by some people from my congregation (I'm the organist and director of music).... one person had the nerve to say that maybe we need to buy a pub and not a pipe organ! (we are in the middle of the pipe organ project atthe moment). </P>


    These 'new' churches, 'new' ways of worshiping, 'new' places to worship....I'm supposed to be 'in to' .... I'm under 40 and I'm not supposed to be into trad. church, plainsong and pipe organs.</P>


    Do I need to be 're-tooled' - will I be out of a job ina few years. They say there is a shortage of organists. Well.... maybe there is a reason.</P>


    What about this pipe organ for my church.... is it the right path to be on? What about the donor who is buying it for us? What about those who only want to do church with a choir and organ present. What about those who feel 'put off', 'alienated' by anything other than trad. church.</P>


    Maybe it is about context.</P>


    Needing a new career?</P>


    Waldon</P>


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  • #2
    Re: Encouragement Needed!

    I hope this is just a fad. You know, once in a while they try a revolutionary way to increase churchgoing. Maybe they should start listening to what people think about it. My guess is that not many people actually are supportive of that. No, not even young people.

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    • #3
      Re: Encouragement Needed!



      Hi Waldon. </P>


      Your predicament reminds me of a book written in the sixties that a collegue lent to me called "Don't Blame The Organist." It's a humourous book, but as with humour sometimes therelies sometruth underneath. In one chapter, a lady gives the author a tour of this new church (he had passed it many times without realizing it while looking for it), that resembled a concrete box with glass. She so proudly talked about how they had done away with stained glass windows to let the real light in (never mind that during a service they could see two people having an argument outside), etc. etc. </P>


      I wasn't around in the sixties, but this book made a point with me. All this revolutionary stuff isn't so new after all - it was in a book dated in the sixties. Some clergy have told me there is a counter revolution going on and to hang on tight as this new stuff won't last forever - but they warn me that with all significant change, in this case back towards tradition, it'll take at least 20 years to start coming to fruition. </P>


      I'm younger than you are, and you are not alone - I too am not into this revolutionary stuff either! Although, my generation often gets stereotyped as preferring praise bands, etc. As an organist, I have played primarily for Catholic and Anglican. The feeling I get from those around me is that the stuff that is going on in the Anglican church is more clergy driven than laity driven, and the laity would like them to take a valium and relax! In Catholicism,I have heardmuch talk about how it is not the fault of Vatican II for the changes, but rather the flawed interpretation, primarily of the west, of what Vatican II called for. The recent letter by Pope Benedict on the renewal of church music is also very hopeful. But as with all things, this will take time. </P>


      I think on one hand the reason for the revolutionary ideas is that some churches are concerned, perhaps even desperateabout decreased membership, and sometimes are grasping at straws to deal with it - sometimes to their own detriment. The general public are very perceptive, and when they see some churches bend over backwards to be "hip" they can see right through it. What the public needs from the church in today's troubled times is certainty, continuity, or as Christ said to Peter, to be the Rock. If the church just goes after fads like the fashion industry then people won't take it as seriously. As Shakespeare said, "to thine own self be true." I think that if the church wants to survive, if there is to be any change, the changeshould be at a fundamental level. In other words, what do you really stand for? As with any organization, what are your core values and are you following them? No offence intended to Anglicans here, but take a stance. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.</P>


      In any event, sorry for the long reply but your concerns are valid, and I agree with Havoc. In the meantime, hang in there, and don't give up the ship. There are many of us out there who feel as you do, more then we sometimes realize. As well, for those who want to forget the organ and go for the pub, now is the opportunity to educate and to be an advocate for excellence in music and worship. These are unique times, and now we have an opportunity which lies before us organists to step up to the plate and be advocates and to educate those who do not know about organs, etc.In worship as with everything else, God deserves only our very best. While it will never be good enough for all that He has done for us, we must still strive to give our best. </P>

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      • #4
        Re: Encouragement Needed!



        For me, a church is pews, stained glass and a pipe organ, not a bar or mall or whatever. Call me a traditionalist, and I will wear the name proudly!</P>


        Mike</P>

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