I am full of feelings as I tell you that I am wrapping up my time as Song Leader and interim Music Director for Jazz Worship at the end of December. As we lean further into what God is calling us to be in this city and in this world, and therefore what we might create for worship in our Thursday evening service, I want to try and express my gratitude for what has been and for what we did create together at Jazz Worship. Thank you for your open hearts as we have welcomed visitors and old friends alike each week with song and engaging worship. Our time together during the pandemic is especially dear to me and I'm so grateful for the sense of community we somehow created together online! There is a spiritual exchange during worship and I feel so blessed to have been able to participate in this way for the past decade. It has been a source of deepest joy in my life.
I am eager to see the changes ahead and feel clearly that a new offering of worship, backed by the prayers of the church, the ministerial leadership and the good work of The Dreaming Team, will meet the needs of many! My own life's journey is shifting in new ways at the same time which assures me that this is all a part of God's beautiful design. We are in the best hands, after all! I am not leaving Old South and I look forward to worshiping and serving with all of you and to all that lies ahead. Thank you so much for your support. Thanks, too, to the staff, ministers and lay leaders who have supported and shepherded this service and will continue to do so.
With love and gratitude,
Dear Old South Family,
My heart overflows with gratitude for the gifts that Zoë has offered to Old South and to the thousands of guests who have walked through the doors of Gordon Chapel on a Thursday evening to find their spirits nurtured by Zoë’s musical gifts and heart for God. When Willie Sordillo retired, Zoë stepped into the role of Music Director on a temporary basis and she has shined in the role. For ten beautiful years, she has brought powerful spiritual leadership to Jazz Worship and we are grateful. We will honor her leadership after the Blue Christmas Service on December 21st.
Since September, the Dreaming Team has been meeting to discern how God is calling us in this new season of the Thursday evening worship service. We have hosted several congregational conversations and are grateful for your feedback and wisdom. Here is what we’ve discerned: In a time of deep anxiety when it feels like the ground underneath us is ever-shifting, we need our worship to ground us in sacred wisdom, connect us to one another and the divine, and heal us while we learn to be brave. In the words of Dreaming Team Member Ethan Moore, we yearn to create the place of worship where the mind and body can rest, so that the soul and spirit can rejoice. We have discerned that the need for a contemporary Thursday evening service is still great and that we have immense capacity to meet that need. We are building a music plan that will differ from our jazz roots, while honoring the casual style of the worship that jazz offered. We are committed to offering music diverse in style and united in its ability to bring people together to sing with their whole hearts. For the next few months, we will offer elegantly simple music featuring a song leader and a pianist. Following that, we hope to hire a house band who will lead us in music weekly. In these months of construction, we are grateful for your patience as God creates something new among us. If you’d like to share your thoughts, please be in touch with me (email@example.com).
With trust in the sturdy hope of God,
Rev. Ashley Popperson