Cedarville University’s Department of Music and Worship has announced its annual songwriting competition. The competition is open to all current Cedarville University students, and its goal is to develop musical resources for congregational singing.

“The heart of the worship degree is to prepare students to serve the body of Christ, and this competition challenges our students to write theologically sound, musically compelling songs for congregations,” said Dr. Roger O’Neel, director of Cedarville’s worship program.
“It is our goal to give God alone the glory for the talents that he has entrusted to us as well as be good stewards and use these talents to serve the body of Christ.”
– Susan Plemons, assistant professor of worship
The worship department sought out an internationally renowned, award-winning panel of judges for the 2017 competition. The songs will be judged by Laura Story, Rick Lee James and Mark Harris, all three of whom are accomplished songwriters.

Story wrote the No. 1 worship hit “Indescribable,” which Chris Tomlin recorded in 2004, and her 2008 national debut won a Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year. She also earned two consecutive nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year. She serves on staff at Perimeter Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and is an artist with INO Records.

Harris is a former member of 4Him, winner of eight Dove Awards and author of 24 No. 1 hits. He joined the staff at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, in 2013 where he serves as lead worship pastor. His project “Walls,” by Gateway Worship, was the No. 1 album on Billboard’s Christian chart in October 2015. He will be on campus leading worship with Gateway and teaching at Cedarville University’s Worship 4:24 Conference in January 2017.

James has more than 15 years of experience in ministry as a worship leader, singer, songwriter, preacher, author and podcast host. His latest album was released March 2016 and has been featured in CCLI, CCM Magazine, Worship Leader Magazine and other national spotlights.

The contest entry deadline is Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Students must submit original songs that are intended for congregations for the competition and include an mp3 file for an audio demo as well as a pdf file of the chord chart or lead sheet. Submissions should be sent either by campus mail or electronically to Susan Plemons, assistant professor of worship (susanplemons@cedarville.edu). The winners will be announced in March and will receive $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

“Soli Deo Gloria” is the motto of the music and worship department,” said Plemons. “It is our goal to give God alone the glory for the talents that he has entrusted to us as well as be good stewards and use these talents to serve the body of Christ.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit http://www.cedarville.edu.

© Copyright 2017 Cedarville University

https://www.cedarville.edu/Offices/Public-Relations/CampusNews/2017/Songwriting-Competition-Features-High-Profile-Judges.aspx

 

 

 

Source: Appeal to Christians Regarding President Donald Trump

In these times of difficult conversations and sometimes fractious words, we celebrate the political diversity of our churches. We are thankful that the U.S. church is not beholden to any political party.

Since November’s presidential election some in the American church have rejoiced that their candidate won (or that the other candidate lost), some are cautiously at ease with the results, and still others remain in a state of shock and anger at the election results.

Whatever the varied reactions, we believe our time calls for a prophetic word.

As Jeremiah wrote, we should not say, “Peace, peace!” where there is no peace. We mourn the absence of biblical shalom in the U.S. today: everything is not at peace. Our God is a God of truth, who brings thoughts, words, and deeds out of shadows. By the light of Christ, we see what needs to be transformed.

In that light we are troubled by the new access to power of a man who has signaled that he may not stand up for the dignity and welfare of all people.

President Donald Trump has bragged about sexual assault and berated his female accusers. He has repeatedly disparaged African Americans, Latinos, and other communities. He has denied what is true and promoted what is not. He has threatened political opponents, called for torture of U.S. enemies, and has failed to quickly and unequivocally denounce and distance himself from race-based crimes committed in his name.

We recognize that many voted for the President  in spite of—not because of—these patterns.

But now is the time for the body of Christ to stand together against the devaluing of women and their bodies, xenophobia, inflammatory racialized rhetoric, and other harmful speech and behavior.

Some perceived greater political good cannot offset the President-elect’s words and actions. We cannot “just make the best of” our current moment without calling him to accountability. Calls for “national healing” ring hollow when they fail to acknowledge the division, fear, and hostility that the President-elect has done much to enable and incite. Rather, we stand united to promote the dignity of all people.

To that end:

1. We will pray for President Trump, elected officials, our nation, our churches, and each other.

2. Rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, we will tell the truth about the world around us, and we will speak up for those who have been marginalized and taken advantage of.

3. We will actively resist the temptation to overlook or normalize values, speech, and behavior that are in conflict with what Scripture calls us to.

4. In the name of Jesus, we call President  Trump to repentance for dishonoring the image of God in others.

5. We will fix our eyes on Jesus and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, redouble our efforts to honor the image of God in all people and to love all our neighbors as ourselves.

We implore all Christians to take on these same commitments, and to model the repentance to which we call President-elect Trump.

Our calling comes from the God who raised Jesus from the dead. The same power on display in the resurrection enables us to promote the well-being of others and to seek God’s justice for all people.

We commit ourselves—and call on fellow Christians—to walk more worthily of such a calling in these challenging days.

Stand with us and add your voice to the appeal here.

Organizations of lead signers below are listed for purposes of identification only.

Abram Kielsmeier-Jones, Pastor, Writer at Words on the Word

The Rev. Dr. Randall Balmer, John Phillips Professor in Religion, Dartmouth College

The Rev. Traci D. Blackmon

Dr. Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary

Dr. Gregory W. Carmer, Pastor

Dr. Heath W. Carter, Assistant Professor of History, Valparaiso University

Noel Castellanos, President, CCDA

The Rev. Eugene Cho, Local Church Pastor, Founder of One Day’s Wages, Author of Overrated

Shane Claiborne, Author, Activist, Co-founder of Red Letter Christians, www.shaneclaiborne.com

Kristin Kobes Du Mez, Associate Professor of History, Calvin College

Thomas Getman, Humanitarian Consultant, former World Vision International Executive

The Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America

Dr. Mimi Haddad, President, Christians for Biblical Equality

Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus, the Divinity and Law Schools at Duke University

The Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Micah Institute at New York Theological Seminary

Dr. Wesley Hill, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA

The Very Rev. Timothy Jones, Priest and Author

The Rev. Dr. Deborah Kielsmeier, Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church, New York, NY

Dr. Brian McLaren, Author, Speaker

David Neff, retired Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

The Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, Pastor, The Faith Community of Saint Sabina, Chicago, IL

The Rev. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, North Park Theological Seminary

The Rev. Fleming Rutledge, Author of The Crucifixion, named Best Book of 2016 by Christianity Today

Arbutus B. Sider

The Rev. Dr. Ronald J. Sider, President Emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action

C. Christopher Smith, Founding Editor of The Englewood Review of Books, author of Reading for the Common Good

The Rev. Dr. Linda E. Thomas, Professor of Theology and Anthropology, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Jemar L. Tisby, President of the Reformed African American Network & Co-Host of Pass The Mic

Dr. Noah Toly, Director of the Center for Urban Engagement, Professor of Politics & International Relations, Wheaton College

Dr. Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology, Yale Divinity School, Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture

Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

Michael Wear, Author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America

The Rev. Dr. Will Willimon, United Methodist Bishop, retired, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, author of The Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love (Abingdon)

The Rev. David Wright, Esq.

The Rev. Jill Zook-Jones, Priest

Aaron Burden Bible Photo.jpg

Sign the Letter

Stand with us and add your voice to the appeal at change.org.

Listen to Voices In My Head Podcast Episode #187 – Click Here

Thinking of giving the gift of music this Christmas but you aren’t sure of what kind of music that those special people in your life might appreciate? This week’s podcast is a sample of the entire album, “Hymns, Prayers, and Invitations”. Listen first and see if you like the music enought to give it as a gift this year, and if you do like it you can buy it at www.RickLeeJames.com, Bandcamp.com, iTunes, CDBaby.com or Amazon.com.

Rick lee James live concert movie available on Amazon Instant Video.

Also, check out Rick Lee James interview about Advent on CCMMagazine.com

You can also purchase Rick Lee James Book, Out of the Depths, on Amazon.

Because of an error with the discount code, which has now been fixed, the Cyber Monday sale at www.RickLeeJames.Bandcamp.com has been extended through Tuesday.

At checkout use the code: advent

Receive 50% off your entire purchase: CDs, Books, DVD’s, and album downloads