Helping a congregation express itself musically is what guides my life as a music director. David in the Psalms tells us that God wants us to sing our praises, and I try to help that happen. Nowhere in the Psalms does it say that we have to have a concert-quality voice to do this, just do it!
Those of us planning worship attempt to make it easy and interesting to sing those praises. We hopefully choose hymns that are singable, that expand our horizons (both musically and spiritually), that are well-structured musically, and hymns that we can sing with gusto! We use hymns that sometimes connect us with other parts of the world, with other traditions, with worshippers in earlier centuries. Some of our hymns go back to the early centuries of Christendom, some to the Middle Ages, and some to the 17th and 18th centuries in the U.S.
Variety of music in all forms in worship is important to me. We have guest instrumentalists each month, who enable us to hear a variety of sounds. The choir at the 11:00 service sings a wide selection of music from different periods in music history. Members of the congregation assist at times by playing hand-percussion instruments, which enhance the sounds of the choir or congregation.
My higher education includes three years at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where I received a Masters in Sacred Music. Since that time, I have been organist/choir director in churches on the East Coast, the West Coast, mid-America and the South, and have taught public school music in the U.S. and Lebanon.