Guest Post by Caitlyn and Jonathan Salkind | Worship Glue: A New Workshop for Messianic Worship Coordinators

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — The MJAA is pleased to announce the launch of a new long-distance tele-workshop for up-and-coming Messianic worship coordinators. Run by a team of current and former YMJA worship coordinators, including Jonathan Salkind, Michael and Nicci Katz, Mykie Collins, and others, the workshop will cover the skills needed to hold a band together and make the worship sound awesome.

“This workshop isn’t really for worship leaders,” explained Mykie Collins, “Though of course, worship leaders are welcome. Leading worship is about choosing songs, casting vision, connecting with the congregation, and being the lead singer. Worship coordination is about providing musical structure and communicating among the musicians, and it’s really a different skill set. Guitarists and bassists make excellent coordinators, or pianists if they aren’t leading. Drummers mostly spend their time pounding rocks together, so they might be less of a good fit. And backup singers just live in their own world.”

Jonathan Salkind agreed. “Most of the worship coordinator’s job is to translate the worship leader’s vision into something that can actually be played. Worship leaders know what they want but have no idea what they’re doing. Every weekend, I walk in, set up my bass, and get told, ‘I want this song to sound exactly like Shane and Shane.’ And then I’m the one who has to translate that into something workable. We don’t have a cello, people! Anyway, the worship coordinator is the one to work out what the chord progression actually is, how to make the dynamic transitions flow smoothly, and how to play a reggae version of ‘Shabbat Shalom’ because that’s apparently where modern Messianic music is heading.”

“And don’t get me started on the Rabbi’s requests,” Salkind added. “If the Rabbi calls the band up and asks for ‘that song I like,’ the worship coordinator had better be ready to launch into ‘Every Praise’ with no chord chart. That’s my job.”

“I was in a rehearsal once for a YMJA morning worship time,” recalled Nicci Katz, “And I had chosen a great set list, but the chord charts weren’t in the key I wanted to sing for any of the songs. I can just clip a capo to my guitar, and I remember the keyboard had a transpose wheel, but the bassist and the saxophone player were totally lost. If my worship coordinator hadn’t stepped in, the whole set would have been ruined.”

The workshop will cover musical arrangement, volume dynamics, transposing songs on the fly, keeping the drummer from speeding up, keeping the drummer from slowing down, and keeping the drummer from adding too many splashy fills. It will also address some of the essentials of tech setup and mixing. “Knowing how to run a sound board is really important,” Collins explained. “I found this out the hard way. If your tech person that day is a teenager who got volunteered because he’s good with computers but not so good with music, the coordinator needs to be able to jump in and explain how to make the sound actually sound like music.”

Messianic worship leaders all over the country have expressed their excitement about the new coordinators’ workshop. “I have a doctorate in music, so I can actually lead and coordinate at the same time,” said Dr. Greg Silverman, “But every other worship leader I’ve ever met is in desperate need of a good coordinator. Or a doctorate.”

When reached for comment, singer-songwriter, Joshua Aaron, appeared confused by the idea. “I play the uke,” he said, “And the whole band comes together. The Holy Spirit just flows, right?”

For Messianic worship leaders, the ARCH Training Summit and other already-established events provide excellent opportunities to grow in their skills and ministry. 

 

 

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Nate Benjamin Announces Sequel Album To Fix My Eyes Entitled ‘Fix My Nose’

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Philadelphia, PA – In a packed press conference early this morning, Nate Benjamin officially announced his highly anticipated second full-length album. In a surprising move, the new record will be a full-blown concept album entitled Fix My Nose, with the entire disc effectively serving as a sequel to “Fix My Eyes,” the classic title track of his debut.

“Contemplating the implications of fixing my eyes on Yeshua was such a rewarding experience when I was writing the first album,” explained Mr. Benjamin. “When it came time to start work on the follow-up, I realized that there was so much more to be said. It has such a tremendous impact on our lives when we strive to focus ourselves entirely on God, and the more I prayed about it, the more I began to realize that every part of that process can have its own implications. The scope of it is so vast that it would take dozens of albums to truly do it justice, but for the time being I’ve decided to focus on the face. Nose, ears, mouth, hair… each is more than enough to fill an album on its own, and that’s just what I plan to do. Hair may even get a double album.

“Don’t get me wrong, though, I plan on getting through the whole body, if that’s the calling The Lord has for my life. God willing, someday, I’ll be spending several days in fervent prayer, as God reveals to me all the blessings He has in store for those who fix their spleens on Him.”

Fan opinion seems to be mostly positive, though some have voiced concerns. “I’m just not sure there’s enough material there to support a whole album,” said skeptic, Rebekah Wedemeyer. “I mean, an EP, absolutely, but I’m worried that pushing for a full-length might be stretching it just a bit. I hope I’m wrong, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.”

Thankfully, it seems that the wait won’t be too long. The first single, “Smell,” is scheduled to be released in late May, with the full album making its official debut at Messiah Conference 2018. While an official track listing has not yet been released, Nate has indicated that the new album will feature 10 songs, each named for a different aspect of fixing one’s nose on God. As for whether the album lives up to the high standard set by its predecessor, we’ll all have to wait and smell.

 

 

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Israeli Messianic Band MIQEDEM Working on Greatest Hits Album

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Tel Aviv, Israel — Messianic Judaism’s favorite band, MIQEDEM, announced last week they are working on their second album. After exploding to Messianic fame in the last year, including a US tour, the demand is high enough to record a sophomore album just a little over a year after releasing their debut album. The Messianic world is waiting with bated breath to see what Jamie Hilsden and his crew will come up with next.

“I’ve been part of many many many Messianic bands and MIQEDEM has found the greatest success, by far,” lead singer and guitarist, Jamie Hilsden, said in a video on MIQEDEM’s Indiegogo page. “People love to listen to our songs on repeat. In fact, when we played the UMJC conference in July, the crowd wanted us to keep going, but we were out of songs. So we just went through our album again and everyone loved it. I don’t know if they even noticed, and I think it’s because they don’t understand what we’re singing about, because American Messianics don’t understand Hebrew. So after that we realized we could probably release a greatest hits album already. We’ll get money from selling two albums and we don’t even have to write any new material. It’s a win-win situation.”

MIQEDEM is raising money to record their second album, which will include every song from their first album, plus Elohim Lanu and Kol HaNeshama. If you’d like to help MIQEDEM reach their goal of $23,200 to record their new album, you may donate here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/miqedem-album-2#/

 

 

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Rogue Sandwich Eater Plunges Yom Kippur Service Into Chaos

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Montpelier, VT – This year, Congregation Beth Ben David’s Yom Kippur service began like any other: a time for solemn introspection, fasting, prayer, and repentance. Little did the attendees expect, that before the end, it would devolve into absolute mayhem.

“It all started around 2:30pm,” recounted Rabbi Michael Goodman. “A visitor walked in with a small paper bag and sat down as we were praying. Nobody had seen him before, but all are welcome at our FREE services, and obviously we’re not going to turn away someone who’s seeking after God on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. I did make a mental note to keep the microphone away from him –we’ve gotten some really bizarre, ranting prayers from visitors at these things in the past – but beyond that, I didn’t think much of it. That is, I didn’t think much until the smell hit.”

According to congregants, the smell of the sandwich quickly began to change the tone of the prayers. “At first I thought I was imagining it,” said longtime member Hope Feldstein. “It seemed odd, since I hadn’t really noticed being any more hungry than your typical Yom Kippur, but all of a sudden I could swear I smelled grilled chicken. I tried to put it out of my mind, but then I noticed a whole lot of food imagery suddenly popping up in the prayers. Then when the Rabbi used the word ‘succulent’ to describe The Lord’s divine forgiveness, I knew it wasn’t just me.”

From there, things only grew worse when the visitor pulled out the sandwich and began to eat it in the middle of the service. According to witnesses, there were audible gasps, followed by dead silence for several seconds. Then the screaming started.

“Jerry Eisenberg was sitting a couple of rows back from the sandwich eater,” said Rabbi Goodman. “He’s a big guy who can get a bit hotheaded at times, and he was the first person to recover his wits enough to say something. So he just started laying into the guy, but he kept getting distracted as he noticed the various ingredients in the sandwich. When a bit of ranch dressing dripped onto the man’s chin, it finally diverted his attention for long enough for me to step in and try to resolve the situation with a bit more grace. I started talking about the importance of fasting on this day, how our people remove the distraction of food in order to focus our attention on our own failings and our relationship with God. I went on for a few minutes, and I honestly think it was one of the best messages I’ve ever given. So when the man responded by saying ‘Dude, chill, it’s just a sandwich’ and taking another bite, I’ll admit, I kind of flipped out.”

Eventually, after a shouting match with the Rabbi and a heated confrontation with the ushers, the man and his sandwich were forcibly removed, but by then the damage had been done. “The Rabbi tried to get things back on track,” said Feldstein. “He talked about how his reaction was a perfect example of why we all need to seek forgiveness, then asked his wife to come up and play some worship songs to get us back into the right frame of mind. Unfortunately she started off with Holy of Holies. Just as everyone was starting to get into the spirit of worship, we hit the part about “I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness” and we were right back where we started.”

After a few more slip-ups, including a rendition of Joshua Aaron’s ‘Hodu,’ which had to be hastily rearranged into a medley to avoid the line “all who are hungry, all who are thirsty, come from the East and the West,” the meeting did eventually recover and return to earnest, spirit-filled prayer which completely avoided any mention of juicy porterhouse steaks or eggs benedict. Still, according to Rabbi Goodman, the incident ended up costing them at least an hour of solid prayer time. “The whole thing was an unmitigated disaster,” he said. “I swear, next year I’m posting guards at all the entrances to prevent this kind of thing. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s sundown; I’m needed at the buffet. And they’d better have roast chicken.”

 

 

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Chicago Messianic Community Finally Discovers Ted Pearce Has More Than One Song

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Chicago, IL – A recent meeting of the Harvest Committee, the Chicago Messianic leaders’ networking and prayer group, turned into a heated debate over worship song choices, after it was accidentally discovered that Messianic recoding artist, Ted Pearce, actually has more songs than just “Hallelu Et Adonai.” The gathering went south when someone pulled up “Hallelu Et Adonai” on YouTube and another one of Ted Pearce’s songs, “Clean Water” popped up as the next song on the queue.

“Sometimes YouTube has a mind of its own,” said an anonymous representative of the Harvest Committee. “I’m more than a little embarrassed to say that we all thought Ted Pearce only had one song. A great song though. So great. So so great. We knew he has released albums, but we legitimately thought they were just Hallelu Et Adonai over and over and over again and we wanted to honor that. I feel our Chicago congregations have all done an incredible job beating that amazing song to death, and I commend them for it. But now that we have discovered that Ted Pearce has other songs, like “Adonai Machaseinu,” “Who Has Ascended?,” “Arise,” “Congregation of the Righteous,” “Hinei Go’alaeinu Chai,” and “Open the Gates,” we must start playing these songs, as well, to round out our worship experiences. We have asked that all our Chicago congregations expand their Ted Pearce repertoire during worship and give Hallelu Et Adonai a little breather. Hallelu Et Adonai has served us well over the years, but it’s time to give exposure to Mr. Pearce’s other songs too.”

In addition to Hallelu Et Adonai, Ted Pearce has many other great songs as well. You may listen to them here. We highly recommend adding these songs to your worship team’s repertoire.

 

 

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