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Blog – Centered In Song

Blog – Centered In Song

A blog connecting you to deep conversations, valuable resources, and challenging ideas

Centered In Song is a blog that features a core team of writers who care deeply about the congregation’s voice and who seek to have deep and meaningful conversations. Our team of bloggers are always on the lookout for great events, fresh ideas, and artists who are passionate about congregational singing. Because the team is made up of folk from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, this blog offers a variety of viewpoints and opinions on congregational song, celebrating the diversity that the church’s song embodies each and every week.


10th of September 2018

Relaxed and Re-tuned: Scott Chard’s album, Sanctus

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   I tried to pay attention to the music at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church this year, which took place in Austin. The worship planners did a […]


4th of September 2018

Music Makes Community

  Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   While doing research for my previous blog posts this summer I came across a group called “Music that Makes Community.” If you’re reading this blog it’s possible […]


13th of August 2018

An Incarnational Sound

Author – Adam Perez is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at Duke Divinity School.       Nevertheless, It Was A Blessing A few weeks ago I had the blessing of working with an ad hoc choir who gathered out of the student body of Duke’s Summer Course of Study program. Many were second-career local […]


7th of August 2018

Navigating worship as Universal and Incarnational – The Worship Leader’s Challenge

Guest Blogger Tanya Riches has published a number of well-known songs through Hillsong Music Australia, including ‘Jesus What A Beautiful Name,’ which reached #6 on Australia’s CCLI worship charts. Along with a team, she administrated one of the most successful worship bands in history, Hillsong United, for its first six years under Reuben Morgan’s leadership. Her song […]


31st of July 2018

Denominationally Promiscuous: Lessons From My Ecumenical Journey

Author – Brian Hehn is the director of The Center for Congregational Song.   Denominationally Promiscuous Although not verified through any written text, it is common for hymnologists and church musicians to quote the 20th century hymnological giant Eric Routley as saying that church musicians are “denominationally promiscuous.” I must confess that I fall into […]


12th of July 2018

Another Friendly Letter to the United Methodist Hymnal Revision Committee

Author – Brian Hehn is the director of The Center for Congregational Song.   Like any denominational hymnal committee, you are already being bombarded with people’s opinions –  support, attacks, sarcasm, and any other kind of feedback you can possibly imagine. While much of what you will hear is born out of fear, excitement, trepidation, […]


12th of July 2018

Patriotic Music on Sunday Morning: Yes or No?

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   At my church we do three patriotic songs a year: one on the Sunday nearest Memorial Day,  one nearest Independence Day, and one nearest Veterans Day. We had […]


11th of June 2018

Singing As Summer Sabbath

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   One of my choir members was telling me the other day that every time she hears “Be Thou My Vision,” she can picture the outdoor chapel where she […]


5th of June 2018

Worship and God’s Grand Story

Author – Adam Perez is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at Duke Divinity School.   One of the hardest things for me in planning worship is constructing the overarching narrative of the service. From the very first word to the last, I want the worship services I plan to take the congregation on a journey […]


31st of May 2018

Abandoning “Success:” Embracing the Kingdom

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   I’ve been thinking a lot about failure lately. At work I lament that I flubbed my postlude or that a new hymn went over like a lead balloon. […]