October 2020


“I love that we are a singing congregation!”

“We need to stand on the foundation that the congregation has built here.”

“We must engage the congregation in this process.”

“I think we need to be totally open to new possibilities
 and NOT throw away tradition.”

“My family loves the Lutheran liturgy.”


These were the key sentiments enthusiastically shared at the first meeting of the St. James Music Ministry Task Force.  We met for the first time in August.  Each member shared things that were really important to them as we begin our work.  First, let me share a little history:

In the mid 1970s, the leadership of this congregation decided to think differently about how St. James would increase and enhance the music ministry in worship and the life of the congregation.  These discussions ultimately would lead to this congregation hiring its first full-time minister of music, Tim Braband.  After Tim’s 45 years of leadership to the life of this congregation’s music and worship, it is time to do this again.  We now will be engaging again on what this congregation wants in the future of its music and worship life.

In August we started this important work.  Beginning this week, each member of the congregation will be invited to share feedback on what music in the life of this congregation will look like in the years ahead.  Today you will find in this Messenger two ways to share your feedback.  We want to hear from you, your spouse, and your children and grandchildren. 

One way we want to hear from you is through Flipgrid.  We’d like to pick your brain on a few important questions and invite you to answer them in video format.  We felt it was important to get St. James members talking about what it is they value in our music and in our worship.  Additionally, we want to hear about what it is you’re looking for in the future. One of the great things about this format is that we all can see and hear from each other what is important to us as a congregation and connect—if not actually face-to-face, at least virtually—to share what the future of music ministry looks like at St. James. The task force has prepared a 1-minute tutorial on how to use this tool for those who are unfamiliar with it, which you will see in this month’s e-blasts.

However, for those who feel more comfortable with paper, please consider filling out your responses to the survey on the last page of the Messenger and sending it into the church office or dropping it off at an in-person service at Nawakwa.

Your feedback in the weeks ahead will be the backbone of our work as we begin the search for the next music minister or music ministry team of St. James.  Before we begin a formal search, we know that having these conversations will be so important.  Our task force needs to know what’s on your mind so that the next person (or even persons) hired to lead our music ministry is a reflection of the congregation’s values and intentions. 

Our task force will keep you updated in the months ahead on our work.  Please stay tuned.  First, though, we need to hear from you.  Our personnel committee has asked the following individuals to serve on this task force:  Dan Bringman, Alli Crowell, Jim Dunlop, Sharon Kaya, John Kloster, Bill Leslie, Kyle Smith, Sherry Waybright, and Pastor Mike and Pastor Andrew.  Again, please take time to share with us by completing the Flipgrid survey.  Thank you in advance for the time and thought you take to provide your important feedback.

–Jim Dunlop, task force chair

(flipgrid.com/stjamesmusic) on your device and using the guest password. Guest Password: Music2020!


Unfamiliar with Flipgrid?
Check out this tutorial video with Alli and her daughter, Eliza.

Flipgrid Questions
1) What do we value? Tell us what you value most about St. James worship & music ministry.
2) Music Ministry in the future? Tell us what the one thing is you would like to keep the same about our worship and music ministry and what the one thing is you would like to change in the future.
3) Who are we looking for? Tell us what you envision the role of the Worship and Music Ministry position/positions might look like in the future. Describe the perfect person/persons to lead our worship and music at St. James.

Very Important: You will record a video for EACH of the three questions. To record your videos, access each Topic Page by clicking “View 3 Topics,” and then click the “Record a Response” button.