Organizations

Choir members singing in procession

The American Guild of Organists is a national professional organization for organists and choral directors within the United States, whose mission is “to enrich lives through organ and choral music.” Members receive a monthly journal with articles on various topics related to organ-playing, choral music, and sacred music. Other member resources include access to job postings in places of worship across the country. The AGO also provides standard guidelines for musician fees in places of worship, helpful to both clergy and musicians.

The Association of Anglican Musicians is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of musicians and clergy within the Episcopal Church and larger Anglican tradition. In addition to holding annual conferences, AAM members receive a monthly journal with informative articles, have access to job postings in churches, and enjoy collegiality with church ministers across the Anglican tradition. A primary mission of AAM is “the elevation, stimulation, and support of music and the allied arts in all their aspects in the Anglican church, and especially in their relationship to liturgy.”

The Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission is a group of North American Anglicans who are concerned with promoting liturgical renewal in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. APLM hosts annual colloquia and maintains a blog called “The Preacher’s Study.”

The Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary maintains a comprehensive website with numerous resources for preachers, including further reading on various topics, sample audio sermons by noted preachers, and a section called “Sermon Starters.”

Church Music Forward has a motto of “preserving traditions with imagination.” This initiative offers an open forum on issues in church music. It also publishes a monthly newsletter with articles on various topics and musical compositions by contributors. As its website maintains, it offers a “tapestry” of “dialogues and reflections.”

Church Publishing, Inc., is an official publisher of worship materials and other resources for the Episcopal Church. The Church Publishing website contains numerous resources for purchase related to biblical studies and theology, Christian life, church administration, curriculum and faith formation, digital resources, liturgy, ministry and mission, music, spirituality, and Anglicanism.

The Episcopal Preaching Foundations mission is “to improve, support, and enhance preaching in the Episcopal Church.” Part of this mission includes three annual conferences, the providing of leadership and resources for dioceses, and opportunities to work with preachers in the context of small groups and individually. Each year the EPF sponsors a “Preaching Excellence Program” for seminarians in the Episcopal Church. The EPF also hosts a blog containing sermons.

The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada is a 501(c)(3) organization designed to further education about hymnody, to promote stronger congregational hymn singing, and to encourage the writing of new hymn texts and tunes. The Society’s website has numerous resources related to hymnody. Membership is also available, which includes access to the Canterbury Dictionary.

The Leadership Program for Musicians is an organization jointly sponsored by the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that is designed to foster stronger singing and more active participation in worship. LPM offers a curriculum focusing on church music, liturgy, spiritual formation, and church music skills. Teaching is provided by trained local teachers, and participants can take classes in order to acquire the LPM certificate in church music upon completion.

The Ockenga Institute of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary offers a number of resources geared towards preaching excellence, including a weekly podcast, a quarterly audio journal on sermon preparation, a “sermon doctor” service offering feedback on sermons.

The Royal School of Church Music in America is the American branch of the Royal School of Church Music based in England. This organization provides a plethora of resources for training choirs (adults and children) and sponsors annual summer programs for choristers throughout the country.

The Vergers Guild is an organization supporting over 1,000 active members internationally. The Guild defines a verger as “a member of the laity who works under the direction of their Rector, Vicar, or Priest-in-Charge to assist with the organization and operation of religious services in the Episcopal Church in the U.S., the Anglican Church of Canada, the Church of England, and world-wide throughout the Anglican Communion. Resources include a self-study course for training, as well as annual conferences for fellowship and education.