The Wonder Lies Within ......A Gift For Advent  
By Steven Johnson, Director of Worship & Music


Part of the creative landscape in being a liturgical pianist and conductor is leading and directing large gatherings, rehearsals, worship services and a variety of concerts. Also being able to enjoy the creative and collaborative energy of congregational singing, the voices of the choir from the balcony, and the joyous sounds of the instrumentalists.

Collectively, they summon the call of the divine that ignites an awareness of the Holy Spirit within us all.

Since socially distanced mandates were put into effect, we have forged our way into creating a multi-layered and a significantly isolated musical environment; a process that has led to greater understanding and of knowing what is truly possible when creating music one person at a time.   

Realizing a higher perspective was always in play, the past nine months have been a testament to creativity and to understanding that a deeper connection with the divine isn’t meant to be figured out. It’s meant to be discovered through the wonder of what lies within our own heart and soul, allowing the divine to work through each of us - not working to manipulate the divine.  

We have discovered and developed a variety of talents among our worshiping community who have contributed in various ways to the development of our “online worship presence.” These include gifts and talents that encompass a wide range of abilities, from the singing of our cantors, choir members, video and audio technicians, and those working behind the scenes bringing all these digital components together.

As a wonderful team they have shared our messages of faith, hope and love with our community and beyond.

The season of Advent is the dawn of the new church year and is regarded as a time of great anticipation around the birth of Christ. 

The heralding announcement by Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus is at the heart of the Christmas narrative and beautifully set to music in the Holden Evening Prayer. (M. Haugen)

I am most pleased to announce that the music staff along with some of our music volunteers have recorded an exquisite setting of the Holden Evening Prayer for you to enjoy at home.  It has always been a cherished part of the Advent Season and this year is no exception. If anything, it’s EXCEPTIONAL!

There are two videos available to choose from:


Video A includes both instrumental and vocal tracks. (A PDF of the ‘assembly’ music score is available for St. John’s members. See link. The lyrics are included within the video for ease of participation.



Video B is instrumental only (For those familiar with the music and enjoy ‘leading’ and singing with your own voice(s.)

May the music and your singing evoke your own curiosity to rediscover the wonder within, so that together we can be vital servants to each other and boldly Live God’s Love in the World.


Steven Johnson