Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘Hymn-a-thon’

The Transfiguring Experience of a Hymn-A-Thon

Last Sunday, March 2, 2014, Transfiguration Sunday, the dozen musicians of our small Episcopal parish in Forest Grove, Oregon embarked on a project which in the end was a transfiguring experience for all of us.  Our project, a fund-raiser for the St. Bede Episcopal Church Music Ministry, was a Hymn-A-Thon:  a marathon singing of one verse of all 720 hymns of the Episcopal Hymnal.

 Our day of singing began at 8:00 a.m., included worship and a “concert hour” during which we sang all verses of over twenty “sponsored hymns,” and ended with a fervent singing of hymn #720 nearly 12 hours later.  We were all part of an exalting, glorifying, spiritually changing experience to promote and further excellence in church music.

To quote one singer, “I was periodically overwhelmed by the worship involved in the act of singing hymns – praising God. I don’t know quite why I was surprised by that… but every once in a while I was struck dumb by the message, the music and the act of prayer that we call singing hymns. Thanks be to God!”

How Can You Help Support Excellence in Church Music?

Contact me at jeannine@promotionmusic.org to learn how you can support the St. Bede Episcopal Church Hymn-a-Thon!

Small churches everywhere are struggling — struggling with a downturn of membership and the resulting downturn in financial resources.  However, in the midst of this struggle there are those churches that are holding to a high standard of excellence in worship –and in excellence in the music of worship.

I hold up as an example, the very small parish church of St. Bede Episcopal in Forest Grove, Oregon.  This church with its shrinking membership and resulting budget crisis made a bold decision to keep their professional organist and choir director.  Difficult decision?  Yes!

The musicians of the church numbering fewer than a dozen, have decided to implement fund-raisers during the year– not to take their choir on a European tour– but to make sure their parish church continues with excellence in its worship and music.

Their first fund-raiser is a barn-burner of a project for a dozen souls.  You see they have decided to sing their way through the Episcopal Hymnal — all 720 hymns — in one day!  March 2, 2014.  That is a lot of singing and playing for this intrepid group, but they are enthused and ready to sing. 

The fund-raising part?  Oh yes!  You can contribute to their project by pledging ten cents/hymn sung — or even a dollar/hymn sung.  Or you can come sing with us — yes, I am the organist and choir director of this hard-working group.   Or you can request that we sing ALL the verses of your favorite hymn during our hymn concert hour.

Want to join the project?  Just drop me a note at jeannine@promotionmusic.org and I’m sure we can find a way that you can participate whether you are in Forest Grove, Oregon or Dornheim, Germany.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Jeannine Jordan, Director of Music, St. Bede Episcopal Church

HYMN-A-THON  Sunday, March 2, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with Holy Eucharist at 10:00 a.m.  St. Bede Episcopal Church, 1609 Elm Street, Forest Grove, Oregon. Come when you can, leave when you must. Please join us.


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