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We began our “Season of Exploration” ten months ago! It has proven to be a rich time of experiencing a variety of musicians and styles while being rooted in the continuity and giftedness of Christine Chepyha and Gordon Miller’s strong musical leadership. As a congregation, we have had an opportunity to explore and name what we especially value; and to discover what resonates with us.  Gratitude to all who shared their reflections on what they experienced through the music leadership in the various worship services. This enabled the Music Ministry Visioning Team to identify the trends emerging from our collective reflections, which in turn helped the team formulate a “Call” to those interested in applying for the position of “Music Ministry Leader” here at James Bay United Church.

Our spacious process has now borne fruit!!  We are delighted to announce that Jennifer Turner will be taking up the post of Music Ministry Leader as of May 1st.  Jennifer holds a M.Mus from the University of Manitoba and a Diploma in Music Performance from the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she continues to study with Ingrid Attrot and Nancy Argenta.  If you would like to refresh your memory about Jennifer, you can revisit the services where she offered her leadership (March 6th, 13th & 27th).  

"With my background in solo vocal performance and my experience singing with three different United Churches, I bring to this position a strong and confident singing voice, a passion for sharing music, as well as an understanding of the many different styles of music enjoyed by members of the United Church. 

It is through singing that I have become involved in the United Church, and I have come to deeply appreciate the opportunity for quietness, reflection, difficult questions regarding social justice, and the feeling of connectedness offered by Sunday services. 

I sincerely enjoyed the three Sunday’s I worked at James Bay United in March and found the congregation welcoming, vibrant, and open. Through Karen, Christine, and Gordon’s mentorship, I came away from the experience with a new vision of my place as musical leader and the confidence that I can offer skills beyond my singing voice; I also have keyboard skills and can inspire the congregation not only as part of a small ensemble but also as the sole musician. I know the power of music to move and inspire people. I believe I have a voice and musicality that can lead to beautiful and moving moments and can support the weekly worship themes and services. I see myself growing as a musician and as a community member of this Church."

Finally, immense gratitude go to Christine and Gordon for supporting and enriching us with their musical expertise throughout this “Season of Exploration”. Their steady committed presence not only gave us the breathing space to not rush the process but also provided the Music Ministry Visioning Team with invaluable insights at each stage of the process. Additionally, they provided support for the musicians who responded to our “Request for Expression of Interest”, working with each of them in preparation for their three Sundays with us. Thank you for all of this, Christine & Gordon!

Now here’s to the unfolding of a fine relationship of mutual support wherein we offer Jennifer a warm receptivity as she leads us with her passion and considerable musical gifts.

Blessings one and all from the Music Ministry Visioning Team
(Gary Brandstadt; Karen Dickey; Judy Krzesowski; Cheryl Macpherson; Colleen Nichol; Karla Weir; Karla Willems)