Meet the People

Gordon Johnston is a composer who is totally nuts about church music. Much of what people experience as church music is pretty bad, due to the climate of mediocrity in many churches -- they don't want to offend people by asking too much of them. Gordon goes out of his way to create the most beautiful music possible in church, because he believes that people come to church to open their hearts and to be exposed to Spirit; for that, only the best music will do.

Gordon has many facets to his music-making:  organist, conductor, harpist and composer.  He holds the degree of Doctor of Sacred Music summa cum laude from the Graduate Theological Foundation.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Examiners of the RCCO.

Since 1986 he has been the Organist and Choirmaster of the Church of St John the Evangelist (Anglican) in Ottawa, Canada.  He is also Director of Music in the Anglican Studies Program at Saint Paul University, where he teaches music and liturgy to people preparing for ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada.  His settings of traditional psalm texts for the Revised Common Lectionary are published by the Anglican Book Centre, and his four-volume set of NRSV psalms for the Roman Catholic lectionary are published by Novalis.

 

Nan Crerie Merrill was born on Dec. 3, 1931, in Swampscott, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ernest and Merle Crerie. Nan was blessed with five children and their spouses: Deborah and Peter, Mark and Susan, Pamela and Danny, David and Lisa, James and Mary Ann. She was "Nana" to six grandchildren: Rachel, Elisabeth, Samantha, Austin, Martina and Madison; sister to Gail Roche; and "Auntie Nancy" to nieces and nephews: John, Jim, Kathy, Lori, Larry, and Norman. Nan touched the hearts of thousands of people through her monthly publication of Friends of Silence. She started this newsletter over 22 years ago in Detroit, Michigan. It has grown from a beginning group of about 40 members to more than six thousand subscribers world wide. Nan shared her deep spiritual insights and love of writing by authoring six books and editing numerous others. She encouraged and nurtured everyone who came into her path. Nan has led retreats, worked with inner city residents and been involved in prison ministry for many years. Nan was a friend and spiritual guide to many. She was also an avid sports fan who enjoyed watching golf, baseball, and football. On Saturday January 23, 2010, Nan made her journey back to her Beloved. (from The Burlington Free Press, January 25, 2010)  Read Nan's comments on these musical settings below.

 

Sometimes throughout the church year, the Revised Common Lectionary uses canticles from other parts of the Bible.  For this collection, adaptations of the canticles were made by Adele Finlayson and Carol Edgar.

Adele Finlayson is a practicing lawyer, an occasional poet and a regular cantor with the Choir of the Church of St John the Evangelist (Ottawa, Canada), where she sings joyfully in the alto section. A friend once described her singing style as “mezzo profundo”. She has recently completed a Bachelor’s degree in theology and wishes many blessings to all those who will sing and hear Gordon’s beautiful settings of these psalms and canticles.

 

 

Carol Edgar is a certified translator and a spiritual director. After warmup she sings soprano. Recently she completed a bachelor’s degree in theology and learned to swim.