Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Music in the Garden - CANCELED!!!!!!!

Dear friends,

We're very sorry to announce that we will be canceling our Music in the Garden - Infinitely More Launch Concert this Saturday.

Since last week, we have been plagued by illness - colds, bad sinuses, and a terrible flu. If we were doing a concert at a church or other venue, we would make it work. But hosting a concert in your own backyard requires an enormous amount of work, and with all this sickness, we just haven't had time to prepare music, the backyard, or ourselves.

Our deepest apologies for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause!

That said, Infinitely More is still moving forward! This month, we will launch our new website with an Online Site Party! We're appearing at several churches over the next few months, and we're already taking bookings for Christmas services, parties, and other events.

Also, we're planning a Fireside Concert for the winter!

To follow all our events, please check in regularly with us on Allison's site, this blog, and Facebook.

Thank you for all your prayers and support for this event, and for our music! Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Allison + Gerald
Infinitely More

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gerald's Song Online!

Lisa Mowry, our amazing demo singer (and friend), has posted the demo for Gerald's song "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" on her website!

Lisa recorded the song while we were in Nashville last month, and on her site, she called Gerald "one of my very favourite songwriters"!

Visit her site to hear "Fifteen Minutes of Shame", and turn up your speakers - the song will begin automatically:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Double Church Day

Actually, it was a double St. John's day!

This morning, we played at St. John's West for a service of Baptism and Holy Communion. A wonderful couple in the church just adopted a baby girl from Vietnam. I find baptisms emotional any time, but this one was especially beautiful. The family chose the hymns, and they reflected the love and support they want for their child's life in Christ.

In the late afternoon/early evening, we joined the worship team to play for the Gathering at St. John's York Mills. We sang great songs like "Indescribable" and "Your Grace is Enough." Rehearsal went really well, but when we got into the service, something else took over. I'd like to think it was us, but I know it wasn't.

When those moments hit, how can you not believe in something greater than yourself?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pastors & Musicians - The Great Debate

A few months ago, our bishop thought it would be a great idea to connect clergy and church musicians for a time of sharing, debating, and, hopefully, learning.

Today, ministers and musicians from the York-Scarborough Anglican diocese gathered for panels, discussions, and a little music making.

Many large issues came up:
  • What is the role of music in worship?
  • What is the relationship between clergy and organist/music director?
  • In worship, is the lyric or the melody more important?
  • Entertainment vs worship.
  • The changing role of the church choir.
  • How do we teach new music and new musical directions to our congregations?
  • How can we see everyone in our congregation as a 'musician'?
  • Vocal worship vs instrumental worship.
  • Should worship meet culture, reflect culture, or lead culture?
Overall, the day was really good and, I think, crucial, to what we're all trying to do. Clergy generally have some way to connect with other clergy through regular pastoral gatherings, but church musicians tend to get isolated. With our touring ministry, I tend to forget how lucky Gerald and I are to meet and play with so many different church musicians.

My one disappointment in the day was the lack of contemporary praise and worship music. The Anglican church in Toronto has started to embrace a wide variety of musical styles - classical, world, African, jazz, Gospel, Celtic, etc. But praise and worship music is taking the world by storm, and it's a critical part of worship at our church. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but sometimes, we need to recognize that what's 'church' for us, may not be 'church' for other people.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We're forming a duo!!!

So, I've been hinting at new things on this blog and on facebook, so here's the big news... (insert drum roll here!)....

Gerald and I are forming a duo!

We started singing together long before we ever started dating, and we've been performing together on a regular basis for several years. As of October 2nd, we'll now be operating as:

Infinitely More

We're so excited about this new musical adventure! Infinitely More will mix new songs with fresh arrangements of classic Gospel songs. We want to serve churches of all denominations, and bring the Gospel into unexpected and unconventional venues.

We're inspired by Esphesians 3:20 which states,"Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine." (God's Word Translation)

We're building a new site, and we have plans for a new CD in 2011.

And we're kicking it off with a concert!

Please join us on Saturday, October 2nd to celebrate this new endeavor!

Pastors and clergy, please contact me directly for a very special invitation.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning to Sync...

I've just learned how I can sync my blog with my site!

You can now read my blog at this address, or by visiting my site and clicking the Blog tab.

Yay! I'm so in love with Bandzoogle - not to do a commercial, but if you're interested in designing your own site, I completely and utterly recommend Bandzoogle. Contact me with any questions or for a free 60-day trial link. (Couldn't avoid it - that does sound like a commercial! I should get paid for this...)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Quran, The Pastor, and My Choice

Let me start with a footnote: I'm not a political person, and this is not a political post. I vote, but I'm not associated with any political party, and you'll never hear any political talking points from me, either from the stage, my site, or this blog. Okay, here's what's on my mind tonight...

"I love Jesus, but sometimes, Christians drive me nuts."

That was my facebook status two days ago.

I wrote it just after Gerald told me about the pastor in Florida who wants to mark the 9th anniversary of 9/11 by burning Qurans.

This story has flooded the news and consumed my thoughts. I've thought about how I would feel if a group was marking a special event by burning Bibles. I've thought about how this man's actions affect the reputation of churches everywhere. I've thought about the troops and the dangers it may bring their way.

I started writing a blog post just after that, and I've been working on it for days. At first, I ranted and raved. I thought, "I'll show them! I have freedom of speech too!"

Every time I'd have a conversation about this pastor and what he's doing, someone would bring up the classic question, "What would Jesus do?"

And that got me thinking: "What if I turned this question not just on the church in Florida, but also on myself?"

And maybe not exactly, "What would Jesus do," but "What would Jesus ask me to do?"

Wow. That changes everything.

In "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey shows that after any incident, we as humans have a moment where we can decide to either react or act.

Last night, as I continued to edit my blog post, I realized that I was reacting.

What if Jesus was asking me to act instead?

So, that's what I've decided to do. I'm still mad, and horrified, and generally upset over the situation in Florida, but that anger is affecting no one but myself (and possibly my patient husband who gets to witness my rants.)

Instead, here's how I'm choosing to act over the next few days:

- PRAY - I'm praying for the pastor and for his congregation. I'm praying that their hearts are turned away from this hateful act. I'm praying for the Muslim community that is so hurt by this act, and I'm praying for safety in areas where this event may lead to more conflict.

- READ - I've just finished reading "Three Cups of Tea," which is a real-life example of how education can bring peace and healing. I highly, highly recommend you read it too!

- LEARN - We are all a little too ignorant about the different racial and religious groups that live in our own towns and cities. How can we ever love our neighbours when we don't know anything about them? This week, I'm going to take time to learn a little more about the Islamic community in my city.

- LOVE - If we do nothing more than love someone this week, imagine the difference that could make in our world. This week, I'm going to find a moment when I'd usually be tempted into gossip or sarcasm, and try to react in love.

- ENCOURAGE - I'm going to encourage you to choose action over reaction this week. I encourage you to be loving to those who are different than you, and to pray for peace and generosity in our world.

What is Jesus asking you to do this week?