Notes from the Session
At the session meeting this week, Session discussed some important matters in the life of the church including:
· What our priorities in music and worship should be, and how we can to connect with the congregation to get effective feedback on proceeding.
· Budget priorities for 2017. The AGM will be held February 26 and the financial     
  pre-AGM meeting will be February 22. Please plan to attend.
· Elders agreed that we will read the book, “Beyond the Worship Wars: Building Vital and Faithful Worship” by Thomas G. Long  together. Several copies of this book will be made available in the church library (shortly) and we hope that many congregational members will read it too.
· Session agreed to hold a special planning workshop on Saturday, January 21, 9 am to noon. We will be looking at many aspects of the life of the congregation and what can be done to improve. Please be in prayer for Session and what they seek to accomplish in this meeting.
  You will hear the details of this important discussion and are urged to comment to Rev. Scott, Rob Hodgson or any member of Session or Deacons. If you are unsure who to communicate with, try the Church Office and ask for a list of Deacons and Elders.

In preparation for this renewed direction, Session would like to introduce you to a program designed to formalize music selection for worship. Session has endorsed a way to look at music as a component of worship for each Sunday. In effect, music will enhance worship and vice versa. It is called “Blended Music at St. Andrews”.  This methodology is not new or even new to St. Andrews. Originally Rev. Linda Ashfield discovered that this systematic way to make worship “flow” led a deeper spiritual experience. In selecting Corey Linford Cotter as a Music Director we also hired a protégé of Rev. Ashfield.  The significance of theses connections to St. Andrews has allowed Corey to find a kind of consensus to music selection.  You may remember November 13, 2016 at worship when Corey explained the music selected by prefacing how and why it was included. On that Sunday you saw Blended Music deconstructed – previously Rev. Scott and Corey worked behind the scenes to ease the kinks out before we even knew of the change.
If you want more information on Blended Music you are free to ask any Session Member, Rev. Scott or Corey – all of us would be delighted to answer or find answers for you. The most significant component is the congregation, we want your ideas…we need your comments.

Below are a limited introduction and explanation of Blended Music

Frequently, the congregation who are sharing comments are trying to make the music program better by making suggestions and criticisms. The problem has been that the ideas and dislikes have been highly contradictory. Music Directors have always done their best to include everyone’s voice in our service musically and what has happened is that a practice of blended worship has naturally developed.
Blended worship means a lot of different things to different people and has a fairly broad scope. This definition will be limited to only music at worship. From a musical perspective, blended worship means including a variety of styles of music from different generations in most services. Generally, this looks like having at least one traditional piece and one contemporary piece in each service, using a variety of instruments (piano, organ, guitar, etc.), and using both old and new hymns. Because the service is stylistically disjointed, it becomes more important for it to be thematically unified.
Benefits of Presenting to Congregation
The hope is that an understanding of the methodology and reasons will become a thing the congregation is excited by. Session would like everyone to be able to see how they fit in to the music program and how their preferences are being met. We also think this will bridge the gap between various generations and groups.