Songs of Hope / Various
Songs of Hope is a collection of traditional and contemporary songs performed by various members of Hope United Methodist Church in Voorhees, NJ. The CD contains inspirational songs penned by Hope UMC members as well as more famous artists like Michael Card, Steven Curtis Chapman and Darlene Zschech. Marilyn Bills, Music Director at Hope UMC, hopes to gain a wider audience for the CD by promoting it through local music stores, bookstores and coffee shops. 'When we first thought of the idea of a Hope CD several years ago, we thought it would be a great outreach tool as well as an extension of the church's music ministry,' states Mrs. Bills. 'However, when we researched the process to record a professional quality CD, the amount of time required made us put the idea on a back burner. At that time our new building on Cooper Road had just opened and subsequently we experienced a growth spurt that claimed a lot of leadership availability for some time, ' she explained. Mrs. Bills said that the project was tabled until early last year. ' Then, as often happens in our congregation, a member stepped up to take on the task,' That someone was Dave Haislip, a member of the congregation and owner of OMUSA, Inc. Mr. Haislip volunteered his time, expertise and equipment for the venture. Under his direction the first recording session took place in late Spring and several months and after a number of recording and editing sessions later, the product was taken to a local CD duplicator, DiscMakers, in Pennsauken for production. Mr. Haislip describes the process as enlightening. He went on to say, 'When I first volunteered for the project I had the expectation of producing a simple CD of live recordings from the worship services. I quickly realized the problems associated with that process and decided to embark on a more controllable studio CD production instead. Although it took much more time from all the people involved with the project, the final product has far exceeded my expectations of what is capable of a local church'. Mrs. Bills added, ' We're just tickled to be able to hand someone a CD and give them a flavor of our musical sound,' she explained. 'It's also a great way for the members of Hope UMC and our visitors to be able to take the 'Songs of Hope' with them throughout the week - not just on Sunday.' While Mrs. Bills wants to gain more exposure for the CD, she pointed out that the music is not viewed as a new revenue stream for Hope. After expenses are recouped, proceeds from the sale of the CD has been earmarked for several outreach ministries including, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Hope for Africa and Camden's Urban Promise program.