St. Thomas Church
It is commonly said at Saint Thomas that in the 1970s, John Andrew increasingly built up the liturgy, and as he did, Gerre Hancock set it to music. That they set out to do this at a time when the Episcopal Church was running in the opposite direction—dropping choral programs and scaling back the liturgy—and at a time when the city was falling apart and hemorrhaging residents, was as courageous as it was trad. They were asserting that the centuries-old tradition still had power in its punch, still had relevance for new generations, and they were not scared off by the notion that potential new members were increasingly not raised in the Church. They were asserting that when it is properly understood, and relentlessly carried out, and excellently executed, the Anglican tradition and our unique choral heritage could not only fill pews, but fill hearts and minds with the glory of God revealed through our Lord Jesus Christ.
If Anglicans don’t show up, they’d simply have to build new Anglicans out of the people who did. That’s precisely what Saint Thomas has been doing ever since. There is a reason the Rector’s Christian Doctrine Class is so needed, and so well-attended.
Reposted from the pages dedicated to the memory of Gerre Hancock.