It was as though it was Jane Marshall's last gift to WorshipArts ...
Shortly after final content decisions for this issue were made, we learned of Jane's passing. We, of course, wanted to honor Jane's memory. The topic for this issue - Growing in Praise - was selected by our editorial committee nearly a year ago. But we can't think of a more appropriate topic to honor Jane's legacy than praise.
If there is a common thread throughout this issue, it's this: praise is both corporate and distinctly personal. It is not easily defined but it is essential to our lives as worship artists.
We open the issue with five differing, creative responses to this idea of growing in praise. Three of these responses were submitted by young adults who, as you are reading this, have recently completed leading a week of evening prayer services as part of Music & Worship Arts Week 2019 that responded to each day with Scripture, song, prayer and praise.
Todd Pick shares ways we can praise through visual arts in the (somehow rapidly approaching!?!) season of Advent, while Craig Gilbert offers ways that we should incorporate praise through generosity, gratitude, and grace in our leadership.
But it's not always easy to praise. Heather Josselyn-Cranson and Claire McKeever-Burgett each venture into this topic, sharing ideas for both corporate worship and self-care when times are difficult and we, as Heather so beautifully puts it, "lose our Alleluias."
Back to Jane's gift. Inclusion of her obituary in this issue rather poignantly puts an exclamation point on our theme of praise. Appropriately enough, she gets the final word as we revisit her words of wisdom on music publishing and are reminded of her great sense of humor and gifts as a storyteller.
And so we say, "Thank you, Jane, for all you have given to us; we praise our Maker for your life, and with you ask, 'What gift can we bring, what present, what token? ... What song can we offer in honor and praise?'"