On Sunday morning I announced to the Bridge St. United Church congregation that our music director, Terry Head, is now our minister of music. This wasn't just a decision of the congregation because we like Terry and appreciate his leadership. We felt strongly enough about his education, which includes a masters in sacred music, and his commitment to music as an integral expression of worship to seek this designation through Kente Presbytery.
The process took eight months or more because this congregational designated ministry is relatively new within the United Church. Presbytery had to find out how this was supposed to happen, but at the March meeting it was approved and the announcement was made. I was pleased that the response of the congregation on Sunday was immediate and enthusiastic. http://www.united-church.ca/files/planning/arts/making-music.pdf
I have been fortunate through the years to work with some excellent church musicians and some that were...less so. I have served several multiple-staff congregations and they are often more able to give financial priority to music leadership in a way that smaller congregations just can't afford. And often larger downtown churches have the larger pipe organs. However, we are a fading denomination and often the discussion around squeezed budgets is the "luxury" of spending money on music.
I so appreciate Terry's attention to liturgical flow and tone, and connecting anthems with worship themes. He moves from our rather cantankerous but impressive Casavant organ, to the grand piano, to the keyboard with aplomb. He is a benign taskmaster with the choir and the members appreciate that he makes them break a sweat musically yet does so with grace and patience.
Congratulations again Terry.
Any thoughts about the importance of music to your worship experience? Could you imagine worship without music? Do you want to add your congrats to Terry?