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The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts

From the President: What's Happening in The Fellowship?

Your National Council has been hard at work over the last few months, in spite of a dearth of reporting from your president. Not to worry, I won’t try to summarize everything. But here are some highlights (and if you want more details, or have any questions, contact the Fellowship office at FellowshipOffice@UMFellowship.org).

  • At a “routine” Council conference call in early December, we managed to surprise Executive Director David Bone with a party and special presentation honoring his 25 years of service at the helm of The Fellowship! Council members kicked off a new fund to endow the executive director position in honor of David. Fellowship members will have the opportunity to contribute to this fund soon.

  • David Bone spent several days in Phoenix, Arizona, recently with the worship staff of Discipleship Ministries. The Fellowship is collaborating with DM to offer a national worship event in the Western Jurisdiction. David also had the opportunity to meet with all the Directors of Connectional Ministries for each U.S. annual conference. This is a significant step in our work of increasing the visibility of The Fellowship within the annual conference structure. If you have a leadership role in your own annual conference, please contact David at David.Bone@UMFellowship.org to talk about how you can be part of this connectional effort.

  • We’ve created a new membership category specifically to help multiple members of a church staff access the benefits of The Fellowship for just one monthly fee, which is a savings over the individual annual fee. Part of the motivation for this new plan is to encourage collegiality amongst worship leaders in the same congregation.

  • And once you become a member, you also become part of the amazing web of support and connections with worship artists across the country. Check out our new Member of the Month feature in WorshipArts and on the web, and feel free to let us know more about yourself if you’d like the opportunity to be highlighted as a Member of the Month sometime in the future.

  • Journey 2017 is the theme for Music and Worship Arts Week June 25-30 at Lake Junaluska. The design team is pulling together another amazing event with fabulous leadership!

  • Have you participated in a Fellowship webinar yet? Our Events Coordinator (Joan FitzGerald) has teamed up with other Fellowship leaders to create a variety of webinars to supplement our other resources. You can find them here on our new website!

  • Which brings me to….our new website!! Our Communications Director, Carla Swank Fox, has brought her expertise (and a LOT of hours of work!) to finally realize our long-held dream of a website that can be easily viewed on any device, and that has the power to store a variety of worship resources that can be accessed by our members as well as other interested users. This part of the website is still in its infancy, so if you have resources you’d like to see, or resources you’d like to contribute, let us know at FellowshipOffice@UMFellowship.org.

  • If you have not yet registered for the national convocation in Little Rock this summer, do it now! Not only will the event offer the usual fellowship, worship, and a plethora of training opportunities in a myriad of worship arts areas, but it will also be a time to wake up to the injustice and fear in our world, to be shaped as the community of Christ in worship, and then to explore together, “what’s next?” You won’t want to miss it!

As you can tell, there is a LOT happening in your Fellowship! And I’m always interested in what’s happening in your life as a worship artist, so please write to me at FellowshipLaura@gmail.com and let me know.

-- Laura Jaquith Bartlett, president

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April 2017 Member of the Month: Rebecca Boggan

Pastor of Discipleship and Hospitality at First United Methodist Church, Bentonville, AR, Rebecca credits The Fellowship with her spiritual and musical growth over the years. She cites conversations with other musicians and worship leaders as well as worship and classes at the biennial convocations as both the greatest benefits of membership and her most cherished Fellowship memories. 

Among her favorite worship resources are Abingdon’s worship annuals and planners, Ministry Matters (ministrymatters.com), the Wild Goose Resource Group, Choristers Guild, and Hope Publishing Company. Rebecca measures success through helping her choir members grow in faith as they create good music for Sunday worship. She wishes everyone knew that The Fellowship offers resources not only to musicians, but also to all who lead worship.

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March 2017 Member of the Month: Bryan Babcock

Ask Bryan Babcock, The Fellowship’s March Member of the Month, about the greatest benefit of membership, and his response focuses on “the community of those who desire to create worship that stimulates the heart, mind, soul and aesthetic spirit.”

Babcock Bryan300In his 36th year as Director of Music at Maynard Avenue UMC – a reconciling congregation near Ohio State University in Columbus, OH – Bryan not only leads the music each Sunday, but also designs worship several times a year.  A church member since 2000 and involved in its life on many levels,  he credits much of his success to supportive clergy who value music in worship and welcome eclectic styles drawn from many traditions including repertoire gleaned from his role as a musical director for local theatre productions.

Bryan describes The Fellowship as a catalytic resource and an agent for spurring creativity. Its commitment to providing excellent resources for worship leaders is matched by the affirmation provided to members.  

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