[otc-wt-admin] Re: OTC Musical Repertoire

Applause!  Seems to me that if gentiles are uncomfortable wioth all the 
“Jewish” stuff, they’d probably be happier in a gentile only congregation.  But 
as you clearly put it, our mission is to Jewish people, so we need to emphasize 

Love ya,



From: otc-wt-admin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:otc-wt-admin-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Craig Lasher
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2012 9:20 AM
To: otc-wt-admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [otc-wt-admin] Re: OTC Musical Repertoire


Yes – Thanks to Mike and everyone who has been participating in the discussion. 
 I think that Mike has summarized very well the thoughts expressed.  I would 
like to weigh in on a few things.

1.      We are truly blessed to have so many, in such a small congregation, who 
are gifted and skilled musicians and vocalists – Praise to the Father! 
2.      We are a Messianic Congregation.  We exist in order, not only to 
provide a home for Jewish believers who want to maintain their Jewishness and 
for Gentiles who want to grow in their understanding of how the Old and New 
Covenant Scriptures are masterfully intertwined, but also to reach out to 
Jewish people to come to a saving knowledge of Yeshua.  To that end, we 
primarily do songs that focus on O.T. prophecy and God’s attributes outlined 
for us in the Psalms.  Even though there is a plethora of Christian songs that 
are both worshipful and theologically accurate, we need to base our song 
selection primarily on our core values, which include the Jewishness of the 
Gospel message, revealed by God through Jewish prophets, and the Jewishness of 
Messiah.  As a result, while our love for some of the great Christian choruses 
and hymns compels us to do them, we limit their placement in our orders of 
service.  Because we try to strike this balance, many who are primarily seeking 
a congregation where their desires and preferences are met, think we are too 
Jewish while others have said we are not Jewish enough.  Our call is to exalt 
Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah who came to save all sinners – Jew and Gentile 
alike.  So... we eat latkes and Christmas cookies. 
3.      I hope every member of the team senses a freedom to express ideas and 
opinions.  It is important to be able to do so and I totally understand that 
there may be some level of confusion regarding what kind of songs to introduce, 
and a reluctance to suggest a song that may be rejected.  It may be helpful if 
we imagine a continuum with pure Jewish liturgy at one end and Christian speed 
metal at the other, I would think that if we keep in mind the context in which 
OTC exists, then we will have a clearer sense of where we belong on that 
continuum, and be able to explain why a particular song we may want to 
introduce, fits our unique place in the body, while at the same time, keeping 
our personal musical preferences out of the equation. 
4.      If the Lord brings woodwind, string, or accordion players to the team, 
we may actually be able to add some more klezmer sounds to the songs we do.

Love you all,




From: abideingod@xxxxxxx 

Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2012 12:51 AM

To: otc-wt-admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

Subject: [otc-wt-admin] Re: OTC Musical Repertoire


Thanks, Mike, for being so diligent as to summarize all of our "discussions."

Your gift of this is a blessing to us all!


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Hammond <mctmike@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: otc-wt-admin <otc-wt-admin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 10:07 am
Subject: [otc-wt-admin] Re: OTC Musical Repertoire

Thanks to everybody for the spirited discussion.  Below is a listing - in no
particular order - of what I'm hearing from the discussion so far that can
be used to provide some formal structure around our worship selection
I invite you all to:
        Let me know if I've missed anything you've said
        Let me know if I've mischaracterized something you've said
        Share ideas that occur to you when considering what others have said
        Add new thoughts that expand our current discussion
Here's the list:
A) Our OTC worship song selection is currently very good.
B) Appropriate musical disciplines to draw from include (in roughly
decreasing order of priority):
        Messianic music (relatively recent tunes focusing on the Jewishness
and Old Covenant roots of faith in Yeshua)
        Contemporary Christian music (relatively recent tunes focusing on
New Covenant texts, appreciated for musical creativeness, sometimes
criticized for low theological/scriptural content)
        Classic hymns (relatively much older songs, generally appreciated
for theological purity, sometimes criticized for musical repetitiveness)
        Jazz-influenced (Lion of the Tribe of Judah, for example)
        Klezmer (musical tradition of Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe,
commonly utilizing violin, accordion, and clarinet music)
C) Other musical disciplines fail to meet the "Jewish sensibility of our
worship" criterion expressed on OTCs website
D) It may be valuable to have access to some information about how many of
which kinds of songs have been historically played
E) It may be valuable to consider if a classic hymn could be updated to make
it more musically interesting to OTC attenders, with an intent to make the
meaning of the song more apparent and impactful
F) Some hymns are so well known that attempts to make changes cause
confusion among worshippers who know the original 
G) Musical selection should not be done in an automated fashion driven by
strict formulas of proportions of different musical styles, but should be
done in a Spirit-led way
H) Inappropriateness of a particular musical style for OTC's worship doesn't
necessarily mean that it has no appropriate use, or that it couldn't be
legitimately be used in other worship venues other than OTC.
I) Music selection should weigh the musical sensitivities of a broad
demographic range of attenders:
        Unsaved Jews (who may have encounter difficulty with songs
associated with mainline Christianity)
        Unsaved Gentiles (who may struggle to engage with songs that have
heavy quantities of Hebrew)
        Saved Jews (who want to worship in ways that glorify God while
honoring their Jewish heritage)
        Saved Gentiles (who want to grow in their understanding of Yeshua's
Jewishness while not losing access to their own musical traditions)
J) The salvation of Unsaved Jews is a primary focus of OTC's efforts in our
community, and our worship should reflect culturally Jewish worship as its
dominant characteristic
K) Music selection should weigh the competing emphases of:
        Scriptural accuracy - in intent, if not necessarily in exact
        Culturally Jewish worship setting reflective of the Jewishness of
faith in Yeshua
        Congregational-friendliness - can the congregation sing the song?
L) We should be on guard for spiritual attacks that would seek to disrupt
our efforts to honor God by creating divisiveness in our team
You have received this message because you are subscribed to the Olive Tree 
Congregation Worship Team administrative discussion mailing list.  If you have 
questions, contact Mike Hammond at MCTMike@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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