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College-town church embraces, shares music

Old North United Methodist Church in Evansville, Ind., is a midsized congregation with a heart for worship enhanced by its love of congregational singing, both a cappella and well-accompanied by pipe organ, drums and other instruments.

Feeding the vitality and importance of congregational worship and song are the church's renovated worship space, excellent acoustic and aesthetic surroundings and regular use of the three hymnals in the church's pew racks: The United Methodist Hymnal, The Faith We Sing and Worship & Song.

Daniel Craig, the church's director of music ministries, is also a professor of music at the University of Southern Indiana. He frequently creates worship and music materials and incorporates them into the congregation's worship. The church's philosophy, he said, has always been "to give our best gift to God no matter what style of anthem, solo or instrumental piece." Craig's dual role serving the church and the college provides opportunities to bring the community together in music, worship and concert in the church sanctuary.

The congregation combines its passion for music, good facilities and people with connections to the local college to reach out to the wider community. The church, college and community contribute to worship and to concerts featuring major musical works of the classic past and the challenging present. For example, the church hosted a large First Nations Service that included newly composed music and involved a local Native American pastor and congregation. The church has also coordinated and hosted a community Taizé service during Lent.

Adapted from Romans 12 newsletter, www.gbod.org/leadership-resources/best-practices-romans-12, Discipleship Ministries, Nashville, Tenn.

AT A GLANCE Old North United Methodist Church | 4201 Stringtown Road, Evansville, IN 47711 | 812-423-2483 | mail@oldnorthumc.com | www.oldnorthumc.com | Pastor: The Rev. Michael Monahan | Attendance: 174 | Indiana Conference