The Church of the Brethren meets each summer, usually in early July, to gather as one body to worship, learn, connect, and make decisions. This year, the conference was to be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but was cancelled due to the current public health crisis. You may recall seeing announcements earlier this year inviting folks to participate in a virtual choir for Annual Conference.
While there will be no physical gathering or business items, there will still be a worship service and children’s service shared as a compiled video as well as a second video concert of musicians with connections to the denomination.
The Worship Ministry Team has decided that we will be using the Annual Conference worship service for our worship gathering on July 5 while Pastor Angela takes a mini-sabbatical to rest, reflect, and delve into a conference being offered online (she’s super excited – ask her about it!).
The Annual Conference Office will actually release the worship service on July 1, so be mindful that you don’t jump the gun if you see/hear something about it but want to have worship that Sunday be a first viewing. The online concert will be shared on July 2 at 8:00pm at the website brethren.org/ac and will be available for watching later if that time doesn’t suit you.
We hope you will join us in worshipping, singing, and celebrating with our broader denomination through these opportunities!
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference moderator Paul Mundey has announced plans for a denominational virtual choir. A webpage will be available shortly, with resources that will allow people from across the church to add their voice to a mass Church of the Brethren choir. Three hymns are projected to be a part of the overall project: “Blessed Assurance,” “I See a New World Coming,” and “Move in Our Midst.”
Mundey said, “As we continue to explore new ways to connect with each other during the ongoing pandemic, the possibility of a denominational virtual choir holds great promise. Throughout history, song has united people of faith during times of crisis. I anticipate that uniting the Church of the Brethren in song virtually will accomplish a similar outcome.”
In addition to a denominational choir, plans continue for other virtual events during the week of July 1-5 when the now-canceled 2020 Annual Conference would have been held in Grand Rapids, Mich. Additional details on those events will be released soon.
To be included on the mailing list to receive updates about the denominational virtual choir and the link to the project webpage, email your name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org .
A virtual choir is produced by each individual person recording themselves singing along with the hymn, and then all those submissions are painstakingly put together into one grand compilation that includes all the voices. Each of us gets to contribute our small part to help make up the whole (much like with the church!). As it is with large choirs, individual voices will not be heard, just all of us together.
We’ve set ambitious goals for this project, and are working on three hymns at once. We welcome your submissions as soon as possible; the Early-Bird Deadline is June 7, 2020; the Final Deadline is June 14, 2020. Please pay careful attention to these deadlines for sending in your submissions, because we are on a very tight timeline as we hope to have the final choir pieces ready for our worship celebration July 1.
We’ve outlined how you can participate in the following steps. We suggest that you read through all the steps before beginning, and don’t hesitate to email us any questions. While it may seem like a lot of instructions at first, we think that this will actually be pretty easy for almost everyone to be able to participate if you take it step by step. You will need a way to both play a video and record a video at the same time, as well as internet access to be able to submit your recorded files. (If you need help, please see the final “Contact Us” page.)
We’re delighted to have you participate!
Here is the link to the Virtual Choir on how you can download music and participate: http://www.brethren.org/ac/virtual/choir.html
For general questions about the Virtual Choir project, please contact: email@example.com
Annual conference report
Join us Sunday, Oct. 27th at 9:30 am (during coffee time) as our delegate, Lyn F., shares her experience at this summer’s Annual Conference. Come be informed with what is happening in the larger church body.