Monday, September 30, 2013

Our CBC Radio Interview!

We're having a grand time here in Newfoundland! Lots of great churches, wonderful visits with friends and family, and of course, plenty of food!

This weekend, we were honoured to be featured on WAM, a popular CBC Radio show. Hosted by Angela Antle, WAM features a variety of artists from across Newfoundland.

Angela played a few of our songs and talked to us about our songwriting, why we chose Gospel music, and my Newfoundland background.

You can hear the whole interview here:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Newfoundland Tour 2013

The concerts begin tonight!!

Our tour map!

We're so excited to be in Newfoundland for our 3rd concert tour. Over the next two weeks, we'll perform 14 events in 13 days in 9 communities - definitely an Infinitely More record!

We'll be posting photos and video as we go, so stay tuned for all the latest. And if you're in the area, please come join us!


Salvation Army Church
Tuesday, September 24

Christ Church Anglican
Wednesday, September 25

Workshop (private event)
Thursday, September 26

Holy Cross Anglican Church
Thursday, September 26

St. James' United Church
Friday, September 27

Sunday, September 29
Sunday morning worship
To be confirmed...

Church of the Good Shepherd
Sunday, September 29

Agnes Pratt Seniors Home
Monday, September 30
Private Concert for Residents

Kenny's Pond Seniors Residence
Tuesday, October 1
Private Concert for Residents

Memorial Trinity United Church
Wednesday, October 2

Anglican Parish
Thursday, October 3

St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church
Friday, October 4

St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church
Saturday, October 5

St. Mary's Anglican Church
Sunday, October 6

We generally add a few dates along the way, so please check
for all the details!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Big News - Our First Covenant Award Nominations!!!

I was all set to blog tonight about the start of our Newfoundland Tour, but something amazing happened today, so tune in tomorrow for the Newfoundland blog. Tonight, I need to share some amazing news:

We've received our first Covenant Award nominations!!!

For the uninitiated, the Covenant Awards are the highest awards of the Canadian Christian music industry. Think Grammys for Canadian Christian artists. Awarded by GMA (Gospel Music Association) Canada, the national awards cover genres of Christian music ranging from Inspirational to Southern to Worship to Rap.

We've been nominated in the following categories:

Inspirational Song of the Year 
Real Big Fan
(on our Infinitely More album)

Country Song of the Year 
Every Church Is A Small Town
(on Gerald's solo album, Every Church Is A Small Town)

Country Album of the Year 
Every Church Is A Small Town
(Gerald's solo album)

The full list of nominees can be found here.

We're overwhelmed, ecstatic, and humbled to receive these nominations. Several of our friends received nominations too, which makes the celebration even sweeter. And the talent with whom we've been nominated is amazing, including multi-Covenant winner, Ali Matthews, and Canadian country icon, Paul Brandt.

If you're not familiar with our nominated songs, 
you can hear samples in the Downloads section of our Store.

We'll be posting more as we get closer to the awards ceremony in November, but for tonight, we're just incredibly, incredibly grateful. What a night...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Worship Wednesdays Mentor Moments: Allison Speer

Surrounding yourself with great teachers and mentors is one of the keys to learning and growing. Occasionally here on Worship Wednesdays, I want to share with you some of the lessons we’ve learned from our own mentors:

I first saw Allison Speer sing on a Gaither Homecoming video. I fell in love with her powerful voice and communication style. When I first attended Ben Speer’s Stamps-Baxter School of Music in Nashville, TN, I was excited (and admittedly, a little terrified) to subject my music and performance to her scrutinizing eye. Over the years in Nashville, Allison and her husband Brian became mentors and friends.

Early in our Nashville experience, I attended Allison and Brian’s Christian artist workshop, GodSong Music Academy, when a discussion broke out. One of the artists mentioned how much she wanted to minister to people from the stage. Allison quickly interrupted her,

“You don’t start ministering when your song starts. Your ministry starts the moment you step out of your car in the parking lot, and ends when you drive out of that parking lot at the end of the night. Everything you do, every word you say to people, every action you make is an opportunity to show Christ to people.”

These words rang through my mind. Had I been following this? Sure, I’d always been polite and professional when visiting a church, but this raised the bar.

Suddenly, being nice to people wasn’t enough. 
Now, I needed to be Jesus.

Isn’t that what we’re called to be? It’s one thing to sing about the Gospel, but in really living it, aren’t we being asked to be Jesus to everyone we meet? And if we’re really called to a life of ministry, shouldn’t it be a ministering life?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

This lesson changed the way I walk into a church. I’m certainly not perfect, and truthfully speaking, some days my cranky self wins. But if every Christian musician treated the church and its people with that kind of love, imagine the difference we could make.

You can hear Allison's beautiful vocals and Brian’s sensitive production on our duet of 
In The Garden:

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Worship Wednesdays - "Angels in the Dust", a First Responder's Story...

It was 2003 when Gerald (my husband & Infinitely More partner) found himself sitting in a greasy spoon with friends in New Jersey. Over platters of bacon and eggs, talk turned to the events of September 11th. Only a few years had passed and the topic was still heated. Some raised political issues, others talked terrorism. The temperature of the conversation got more and more heated until one man finally said, 

"You don't know. You weren't there."

The table went silent.

Gerald asked, "What do you mean?"

The man began to tell his story. He was a fire fighter by trade. He and his comrades were some of the first on the scene. They spent days digging through broken metal and mountains of rumble, praying for survivors and never finding enough. 

He spoke about the dust in the air, how it was thick and blocked out the light. And then he said, "Here we were in the middle of downtown New York City, and it was so quiet. But you could hear them."

"Hear who?"

"The angels. You could hear the angels collecting the souls."

One of the great privileges we have as artists is sharing the stories of other people. Gerald kept this story close, and after a few years of gentling holding and praying over it, he put it into a song.

"Angels in the Dust"

Today, we remember all the stories that came from that day. We remember those who are still feeling pain, grief, or fear. And we remember each soul collected by the angels...

Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Worship Wednesdays - The Start of a "New Year"

Let's face it - January 1 is the start of the calendar year, Advent 1 is the start of the Church year, but for most of us, the Tuesday after Labour Day is the real start of the new year.

Teachers and students return to their classrooms. Churches go from "summer" schedule to "regular" schedule. Bible study starts up again, and music groups of all types begin their new rehearsal season.

As we begin September, 
here are a few thoughts for kicking off the "new year":

Gather The Troops
Even if your music program continued over the summer, chances are numbers were slim and rehearsals pared down as members traveled and enjoyed a season of relaxation. Host an informal get-together so everyone can share stories from their summer adventures. You will never waste time building community within your band and choir!

Assess Where You Are
Now that you've got everyone together for a BBQ, potluck, or Chinese takeout (a personal favourite!), take some time to brainstorm about the upcoming year. As leaders, it's important to come to your music team with a vision for worship and special events, but don't forget that open communication with your singers and musicians leads to their personal investment. Get their thoughts about the team's needs, strengths, and challenges, and where they feel God is leading both the congregation and the music program.

What Did You Learn This Summer?
Remember the classic "How I Spent My Summer" essay? Sit with your music team and ask about their summer experiences. Did they visit different churches? Maybe they heard a great new song or discovered a new worship artist? Share stories, photos, and playlists and see what new ideas might be a good fit for this year's worship plan.

Welcome New Members
Other than New Year's resolutions, September is the time of year when people start new things. Why not encourage them to give the music team a try? Host a sing-along or jam night for new singers and musicians. Have a special welcome session after church. General announcements are good, but remember that most people respond best to a personal invitation. If people are shy, you could invite them to "try us until Christmas," just to see how they like it.

Communicate With The Congregation
With the physical separation of musicians and congregation during Sunday worship, it's easy for a subtle distance to grow between the two groups. Reach out to your community using via newsletter, social media, or Sunday morning announcements. Ask for their prayers as the music program begins a new season. Share your vision for their worship music. Give them a way to request new and favourite songs. Let them know about upcoming special events so they can participate and invite their friends.

How are you kicking off this new season? 
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section!

Worship Wednesdays is a weekly series to encourage and equip worship leaders and songwriters. Bookmark this page & visit us every Wednesday!