Jan Love and the Candler Singers to Lead in Worship

For the second time in as many years Jan Love, Dean of Candler School of Theology , Emory University, Atlanta, GA will lead worship for Skidaway Island United Methodist Church on Feb. 17, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. She will be assisted in worship by the Candler Singers, a select group of skilled musicians from Candler. Skidaway Island United Methodist Church is located at 54 Diamond Causeway, Savannah, GA 31411. For questions about the concert location and directions please call 912.598.8460.

A native of Alabama and daughter of a United Methodist Minister, Love's work on global issues began as a 17-year-old high school student in the 1970s when she was nominated to serve on the denomination's Board of Missions. In 1975, she attended the World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was first elected to the organization's central committee, a position she served until 1998.

In addition to her denominational leadership, Love was a faculty member at the University of South Carolina from 1982-2001, where she served in various capacities including associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies (2001-2004), associate professor in the Department of Government and International Studies (1991-2001), and graduate director of international studies (1993-98). Also while at USC, Love served on the university's joint project with the Somalia National University, teaching a graduate level course in international political economy to mid-career civil servants in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mogadishu, Somalia. Before coming to Candler she led the Women's Division of the UMC since August 2004.

The Candler Singers will join with Love to create a unique worship experience. The members of the Singers are as diverse as the group's song styles. They come from a variety of nations, including South Korea, Iceland, Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as from eleven of the United States. The majority are from the Methodist tradition; other members are Baptist, nondenominational, and Lutheran.

Third-year student and Singers bass Gad Mpoyo, who grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is an alumnus of United Methodist-related Africa University, said that he enjoys the "environment of praise and worship" provided by the Singers' music. "The singing style is outstanding because it includes different tunes of music from all around the world." He added that it provides the "soul's nourishment through music."

Singers' Director, the Rev. Barbara Day Miller believes that this diversity is key to the group. "The Candler Singers represent not only the Candler School of Theology; they represent the whole church. They are both musicians and leaders in their churches." Members of the choir have been delegates to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church and serve on various denominational boards and agencies.