Posts Tagged Tony Myles

New City Music: 2011 Conference – Online Resources

The dust is settling. The evaluations are being read and processed. We have had review meetings and been praying about what next year will look like. In the meantime, we have an enormous amount of audio, video, pics, and other resources to package into digital nuggets for everyone to share and experience. So, here’s what we’ve got so far – by the way, all the content will be available in some form on the New City Music website.

Latin American & Caribbean Styles Class – Rhythm Samples – Dr. Leo Sanchez shared several specific folk styles that are unique to Latin America and the Caribbean. This article includes links to notated musical examples of all the tunes he shared.

Worship: Our Wake-up Call – This is a video of the opening plenary address (preaching) from Tony Myles on Ephesians 5:8-20. His sermon challenged us to be aware of the horizontal aspects of corporate worship in which we speak to each other through songs.

That’s all for the time being, but there’s enough in these two talks to stew on for a few weeks until we can get more online.

Don’t forget to check out the pics that Neil Das took of the conference here.





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Plenary Speakers for the NCMC

We are constantly tweaking the schedule for the NCMC to maximize the time and resources. I am pretty certain that we have worked out the line up of plenary talks sufficiently enough for me to share with you what the conferees can look forward to. Don’t forget to register!

Tony Myles – Tuesday Evening, August 9

Tony is the Associate Pastor for the New City Fellowship-University City worship site. Tony is an excellent preacher, but he’s also a skilled keys player in our rotation. Tony has an insatiable appetite for music. When ever he’s in the same room with a keyboard, I see him circle around it like a vulture until he finally gives in and sits down to play. Tony has been involved in several different kinds of churches from an inner city mega-church to an African American PCA church plant before joining the pastoral team at New City Fellowship.

Tony’s talk on Tuesday will kick off the conference and set the stage for what’s to come.

James Ward – Wednesday Morning, August 10

James Ward is my father and my mentor. Having been a musician at New City Fellowship in Chattanooga from it’s inception, he was a trailblazer in the process of reconciliation ministry in the post-Civil Rights south. He studied music at Covenant College and received a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Tennessee. His compositions have become part of the unique culture of many of the New City Fellowship congregations. His original songs include, “Death Is Ended”, “Pray, Pray, Pray” and “Keep Looking Up”. He’s also given us new settings for “Oh For A Thousand”, “Rock of Ages” and “May the Mind of Christ My Savior”.

James’ talk on Wednesday comes from 40 years in the trenches of cross-cultural music ministry.

Leopoldo Sánchez – Thursday Morning, August 11

I just met Leo, but I am really excited about what he’s bringing to the conference. Leo was born in Concepción, Chile and raised in Panama City, Republic of Panama. He is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he also serves as Director of its Center for Hispanic Studies in The Werner R.H. and Elizabeth Ringger Krause Chair for Hispanic Ministries. Not only is Leo a theologian, but he’s also a double-bass player with the St. Louis Civic Orchestra and plays Latin and jazz bass.

Leo’s talk on Thursday is going to be about the growing church in the “global south” and how our liturgical planning and music style might be affected here as a result. Leo will also be leading our Styles Class on Latin and Caribbean music.

Michael Higgins – Thursday Evening, August 11

I first got to know Mike Higgins when he and his family came to Chattanooga to join the New City Fellowship staff when I was in high school. Mike comes from a C.O.G.I.C. background, but he is ordained in the PCA. After NCF, Mike served as the Senior Pastor of Redemption Fellowship (PCA) in Fayetteville, Georgia for ten years before returning to St Louis as the Dean of Students of Covenant Seminary.

Mike will be closing out the conference on Thursday night with a sermon in our “open-to-the-public” worship service.

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No place to lay our head.

“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Tony Myles shared with our staff on Tuesday this quote from Jesus found in Luke 9. It was in response to a follower who declared to Jesus that he would follow him anywhere. I have made similar promises to Jesus in my most faith-filled moments. I have followed Jesus’ call to St Louis, into the city, into the adoption process, into conflict and into exile from the “American Dream”. My heart often longs to lay down and rest, to be at a place where I can settle down and be at home. We have found a home here, and we love our church and community. But, Jesus seems to be saying that discipleship in his kingdom includes a call into nomadic wondering, a kind of unstable and unpredictable place of dependence on the provision of the Father. Abraham knew that kind of faith. So did Moses, Joshua, and even David who spent most of his life as a political refugee.

In crafting worship music, we can often reach a good solid place to lay down and sit a while. We can find a set of songs, a style, or a philosophical method that feels good, makes sense, and gives us a communal anthology of symbols and texts that gives our people a place to be themselves. This is a good feeling, but the call of the kingdom is to resist the urge to create a permanent home. We have to pick up stakes and move on to the next place that the Spirit of God, a pillar of fire in the wilderness, leads us. In cross-cultural ministry, this gets played out over and over as communities change, generations pass away, and culture get’s messy.

Why can’t we just pick one style and stick with it? Why can’t we just build up a team of volunteers (or pros) who know what to do, and then we can just relax and do church in a simple, predictable, fashion? The call of Jesus into his kingdom asks us to trust in the provision of the Lord in the wilderness. He will be the bread of heaven for us when we are completely depleted of our resources. It forces us to be still before the Lord and allow him to fight the battle.

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