The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster Pennsylvania is searching for a Cantor to lead the musical life of our busy suburban congregation. We’re a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that is formed and fed by regularly encountering God in Word and Sacrament worship that mines the riches of the church’s liturgical tradition for new generations of Christians. Our commitment to excellence in music led to the commissioning of a Dobson tracker pipe organ (installed in 2006), and the purchase of a 6’ 11" Steinway Model B grand piano for use in worship.
Past Cantors have contributed greatly to our life and worship, as well as to the church at large; they include Scott Weidler, Mark Mummert, and Marilyn Witte. A musician interested in living and serving in a community that values excellence and creativity in the music that serves the church’s liturgy will find a happy home here!
The Cantor is "the one who leads the people’s song." As such, the Cantor bears the responsibility for the musical life of the parish, in order to support and enhance the people’s worship. As a member of the ministry team, the Cantor of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd needs to be a mature Christian, able to articulate the faith of the Church and to offer leadership in those areas having to do with musical and liturgical ministries. The Cantor will need to ground all he/she does in a clear understanding of Word and Sacrament. Other activities and programs in the life of the parish will receive their meaning from an understanding of worship as the central activity of this community of faith. As a trained professional musician, the Cantor also must be capable of leading and teaching others (and the entire assembly) as they grow and develop as a worshipping family.
This part-time position will require an average of 20-25 hours per week.
1. The Cantor is responsible for the administration and direction of a high quality musical program as an integral part of the worship life of the parish.
2. The Cantor will develop, direct and oversee the musical life of such choirs and ensembles (including handbells and instrumentalists) as are needed and desired to provide for a wide variety of musical involvement and expression within the parish.
3. The Cantor will serve as the principal musician (organist, pianist, and choral director) for all regular and festival liturgies, and will arrange for a qualified and capable substitute musician when on vacation (such vacation time to be cleared with the senior pastor).
4. The Cantor will be the first to be asked to serve as principal musician for the occasional services of the Church (including weddings and funerals), with additional compensation provided for each service.
5. The Cantor, in concert with the pastoral staff, will be responsible for liturgical planning, including the selection of hymnody and other music for worship, including overseeing production of worship bulletins, and including securing copyright permissions as needed.
6. The Cantor, in concert with the pastoral staff, may be asked to aid in the selection of music and the production of bulletins for the occasional services of the Church (including weddings and funerals).
7. The Cantor will provide leadership for the ongoing education of the congregation, especially in the areas of liturgy and music, through occasional Sunday School classes, confirmation instruction, and other opportunities as arranged in consultation with the pastoral staff, the Children, Youth and Family Team, and other leaders.
8. The Cantor will plan and oversee basic music instruction and worship readiness for children of the parish.
9. The Cantor will plan and oversee, with the assistance of a committee, an annual Fine Arts series, offering special musical events to the community.
10. The Cantor will be responsible for seeing to the maintenance and repair of all musical instruments of the Church by qualified persons.
11. The Cantor will seek out those appropriate opportunities for the nurturing of his/her personal growth as a Christian, and his/her professional growth as a member of the ministry team of this parish.
12. The Cantor may use the church’s instruments for private musical instruction.
The Cantor is accountable, first of all, to the Lord of the Church for his/her ministry. In the setting of this parish the Cantor is responsible to the Pastor for the performance of specific duties and responsibilities. This position description is reviewed each year by the Cantor, the Pastor, and the Mutual Ministry Committee.
Lancaster is an historic and increasingly vibrant city, with a burgeoning arts scene and first-class restaurants, surrounded by picturesque countryside. In addition to all that is offered here, we enjoy easy access to a number of major cities, including Baltimore (1 hour), Philadelphia (1.5 hours), Washington (2 hours), and New York (3 hours).
Applicants for this position should hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in church or organ music. Important characteristics also include a strong commitment to the Church, familiarity with the western liturgical tradition, advanced organ and piano and choral skills, the ability to lead other professional musicians, and the desire to work as part of a collaborative team. This half-time position includes benefits, as well as the opportunity to build a teaching studio utilizing the church’s instruments.
Applications are being accepted electronically via Google Forms by clicking HERE. Additionally, a PDF document summarizing the details on this page can be downloaded HERE. If you are a rostered leader in the ELCA, please also contact Pastor Thomas McKee, Lower Susquehanna Synod. Applications are due May 31, 2018. We look forward to hearing from you!