Dear Friends & Family,
I am very excited to share that I will be attending Anthem School of Worship this fall. "Anthem worship training school is a nine months program where students work to develop their unique musical gifts and passions in order to maximize their effectiveness for the Kingdom of God." I am hoping it will allow me to grow in worship leading ministry, hone in on my guitar skills and compose my second, third and maybe even fourth song :)
Music has always been a huge part of my life. I have been participating in musical endeavors of all kinds since I was 3 years old and the idea of being a worship leader has been on my mind since 2012, when I first became Christian. God cracked the door open for me when I joined the worship team at Calvary about 4 years ago and manned the pro presenter on tech team behind the scenes for about two years, the opportunities have been slowly developing since then and about 2 years ago I started singing back up to worship leaders and have recently grown into leading worship at Calvary and other smaller worship and prayer communities.
As I'm sure you know, I adore worshiping on and off stage. It is my absolute go to for experiencing God's presence, healing, encouragement, rejoicing, evangelization & quality time with the Holy Spirit. I feel so passionate about it, because it has allowed me to heal and experience His presence in a tangible and amazing way. I also love encouraging and leading others into the freedom it offers. Worship to me is one of the few instances where I am able to be vulnerable and when I am truly able to let go of the worldly worries and come as I am in front of Jesus, in full surrender, and let Him take over. I have a burning passion to help others experience His presence, His love and wisdom, the healing and freedom it brings. It is absolutely something that I cannot quite adequately describe, but it is something that I long to experience over and over again.
As recent as 2 years ago I have been finding out that there is actually such thing as a "schools of worship leading"! This was very exciting to me, but unfortunately the only school that I was able to find around here was about 4 hours away. So, I have been praying for an opportunity to attend a worship leading school and grow in my ministry in any way. Other opportunities have come alongside and last year I finally saw that there was one opening down the street from me at Westgate for Anthem School of Worship! Since then I have been eager to attend it and have been very excited that I do not have to go far and might be able to actually do this!
Finally, in April, I found out more about the school and it sounded very exciting and awesome, besides the fact that I realized that the time commitment is more extensive than I had imagined. Anthem is a 9 month program that is not well suited to work with a full time employment. This worried me, because from logical and financial prospective this did not make sense for our family with 2 young kids and Colin as the breadwinner in this awesome, exciting and expensive Silicon Valley.
So, even though I had been praying for this, I started to doubt and come up with excuses, like "Maybe I will look for a full time job and if that doesn't work then do this" and "Maybe it's just too late to be attending a school and I should have done this when I was in my 20s " or "Maybe I will do the short version 4 hours away next year" or "Maybe God just wants me to continue volunteering at my church, how I have been and not do the worship leading school all together".
I was okay with that, but then I heard a sermon... preached by one of our pastors at Calvary, it talked about how if God has clearly shown us to do something or go that we should stop coming up with excuses of why he isn't saying it. I couldn't deny that this was something that the Holy Spirit has been tugging on in my heart and that imagining not going to Anthem just felt wrong, so I was left with a clear answer- to go and apply, and if God didn't want that for me it wouldn't happen.
Fast forward to August, I submitted my application, had a couple of awesome friends help me with my audition and recommendation letters on a short notice, I submitted them all and waited. I heard back soon that Anthem wanted to set up an interview with me and that there is a contest that one applicant could win and get a discount on tuition, so I submitted the one and only song I had ever composed and that I have been "randomly" working on for the last couple of weeks with my vocal coach. Even though I didn't win the contest it was a great experience, because I realized how much I love writing music (something I had never done before). Good thing that this is part of the curriculum at Anthem! During my interview, I was offered a spot at Anthem's 9 months full time program and I accepted.
So, here is the part that I need your support on:
This has truly been a leap of faith. I don't know where going to Anthem will lead me and my family and what our life will look like after this 9 months program, but I and our family are open to it all. The possibilities are endless and vary from volunteering at a more professional capacity to being on staff at a church or somewhere in between.
Thus I am asking for prayer from those of you who feel lead to do so as take the first step into His worship ministry. There are some doubts and schedule concerns that are constantly popping up as well as childcare situation that still needs to be set up, paid for and figured out and then organizing my time in a way that I have sufficient and quality time left that I can spend with my family.
The second part is that if you feel lead to give financially, my family and I would greatly appreciate your contribution. Here's a link to my GoFundMe Page if that's what you feel lead to do.
A thing to remember: Although we do have financial concerns associated with me joining Anthem, we know that God will provide an opportunity for us as I step into what I am clear about is His will, since He has confirmed repeatedly that this is the way He will have me go.
I really appreciate you reading through this and thank you in advance for any way that you are able to support me.
Thank You and God Bless You!
- Bill and Susie Hippenmeyer
- Creacher Schnaggio
- M&D Schneider