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United Adoration: Fresh Music for the Liturgical Church

The Rev. Dave Frincke is a part of the Greenhouse Movement and the founder of an extraordinary music resource (think iTunes for Anglicans) called United Adoration (UA). Recently, The Apostle interviewed Dave, exploring how United Adoration began, learning more about its long-term vision and mission, and how it is impacting the Anglican Church in North America today.

How was United Adoration founded? What is the history of its creation?

A couple of years ago, I was working on a CD called Songs and Prayers for the Eucharist. I took different elements of the liturgy and wrote new music for them. We started singing them at my home church (Heartland Church in Fort Wayne, IN). Soon, churches in the dioceses of the Great Lakes were beginning to use the songs from the CD in their liturgical worship services as well.

As we began talking with other clergy and musicians, we discovered that there was a growing desire for new, highly singable music for the liturgy. We began praying, visioning, and dreaming about how we could go beyond just writing music ourselves. We wanted to start connecting liturgical songwriters with each other so that they could collaborate on projects. In addition, we wanted to create a resource base both for songwriters who were writing and churches who were looking for fresh liturgical music. That’s when the spark for United Adoration began.

What is the vision for United Adoration?

It really all goes back to the name, uniting through the worship of Christ. The vision is to not only unite fresh new sounds with the liturgy, but also to unite songwriters and congregations around the country through collaboration.

What type of genres of music are you looking for?

We are looking for music that is specifically in-step with the liturgical flow of worship and seasons of the Church year. There is no specific “style” we’re looking for. Our desire is to capture the emerging sounds of the liturgical church. This means featuring music from diverse genres and artists around the nation and world. We want to encourage and empower songwriters to release their own, unique sound to the greater liturgical church around the world.

Where are the composers coming from?

The songwriters are coming from all around the country (we even had our first international submission a few weeks ago). They’re coming from church plants, larger churches, and every size in between. Some songwriters are older and some are younger. Some have lots of experience and some are just getting started. And that’s really the beauty of what we’re doing. It’s not style or genre that is uniting us. It’s purpose.

What has surprised you about the United Adoration project?

We recently held our first official Songwriting Retreat. The purpose was to build new relationships and begin a collaborative writing project. It was a big experiment because you never know what’s going to happen when you put musicians who don’t know each other in a room together, and then attempt to write collaboratively. We were wonderfully surprised by how much high quality music was written in a short amount of time and how patient, kind, and encouraging everybody was.

How has working on the United Adoration project impacted your life? How are you inspired by the project?

Personally, UA has impacted us greatly because we’ve been able to meet so many wonderful songwriters. Without exception, everyone we’ve connected with through UA has exhibited incredible humility and the desire to collaborate to honor the Lord. This is why we know that the Holy Spirit will continue to do amazing things.

What is next for United Adoration?

We are planning on hosting regional and national retreats around the country where the purpose is to connect songwriters together and create fresh liturgical music. Those who are interested in learning more about how to get a retreat going in their area can contact us here at UA.

At the retreat this year in September, we were also wonderfully surprised by how much high quality music came out of our collaboration together. In response, we have invited all the participants of the retreat this year to help create our first UA collaborative project.

We are taking songs that were written during the Songwriters Retreat in Chicago and recording/publishing them as a new liturgical setting for worship. All of these songs will be featured on our song-sharing website: www.UnitedAdoration.com. The songs will be available for download, as well as the chord charts for worship leaders interested in using it in their own congregations.

What is your prayer for United Adoration?

Our prayer for United Adoration is that as we bring songwriters together, God would release a new and fresh sound for the liturgy.

How may interested people get involved with the project?

The website is really where we help distribute emerging liturgical worship music. If you have songs you might be interested in sharing on UnitedAdoration.com, please contact us at UA or go to the website and click on the “song submission” tab. Submitting music on the website is completely safe. The songwriters retain their rights to their own music.

The website is designed to help worship leaders and congregational leaders find fresh music that fits directly into the liturgical flow. It allows them to search within each section of the liturgical flow as well as within church seasons. Along with many songs, the chord charts are available for download if congregations are interested in using it within their own service.

For more information on United Adoration, contact the Rev. Dave Frincke at dave@heartlandfw.org or visit the United Adoration website at www.unitedadoration.com.

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