Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
Music Discernment Report

October 15, 2019


Dear People of Heavenly Rest,


This summer, members of Heavenly Rest gathered to engage in a process of discernment about the music program at the parish. Over the course of six sessions, we discussed the purpose of music in worship, the history of music at Heavenly Rest, the current state of the parish’s music program, and our hopes and dreams for what the music program will look like in the coming years. A report summarizing these conversations can be found here.


Overall, these conversations were characterized by enthusiasm for the music program’s potential and excitement about its future. To help the music program achieve its full potential, I believe we need to take the following steps:


  • The ad hoc Organ Committee should continue its work with an eye toward repairing or rebuilding our 1960 Aeolian Skinner, so that it will be central to our worship for decades to come.
  • We will be experimenting with adding another service to showcase the variety of music at Heavenly Rest. This service will draw on all the musical traditions represented at Heavenly Rest, including chamber music, jazz, folk music, offerings from the Alleluia Choir, and “traditional” choral literature.
  • To ensure that Heavenly Rest’s music program has clear leadership going forward and attracts the best possible talent, the organist and choirmaster roles will be combined into one Director of Music position. The Director will have responsibility for the choir programs, serve as the parish organist, and supervise all musical activities at Heavenly Rest.


This final conclusion means that, after two years of faithful and dedicated service, Dr. Jeff Goolsby will no longer serve as Heavenly Rest’s choirmaster. It should be made clear that none of these conclusions should be interpreted as a reflection of Jeff’s leadership or the effectiveness of the current music staff. Our musicians work incredibly hard and offer music of superb quality. This discernment process, however, has revealed that the form that Heavenly Rest’s music program has traditionally taken is simply not sustainable into the future.


With that said, I must express my deep gratitude to Jeff Goolsby for his stewardship of the choirs at Heavenly Rest. In many ways, the potential identified by the Music Discernment Committee would not be possible without his leadership. Jeff is a talented musician, an excellent teacher, a wonderful colleague, and someone who has implicitly understood his role as a worship leader. He has been a blessing to this parish, and I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with him. Jeff and I are currently in conversation about the appropriate way to honor his ministry at Heavenly Rest.


We expect to advertise the Director of Music position as soon as possible. If you have any questions about the Music Discernment process or the conclusions I have drawn, please do not hesitate to contact me.



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The Reverend David F. Romanik


Click here for a link to the full report. 


STJES Chapel w/Clergy Wednesday, Feb 26 - All Day
Ash Wednesday Service Wednesday, Feb 26 @ 7:00 PM
Morning Prayer Service Thursday, Feb 27 @ 8:30 AM
Thursday Bible Study Thursday, Feb 27 @ 9:30 AM
Hands On Outreach Thursday, Feb 27 @ 9:30 AM

February 16, 2020
Sunday, February 16, 2020
The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest | ADDRESS: 602 Meander Street • Abilene, Texas 79602 PHONE: (325) 677-2091 |  Site by Church Website Design
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Welcome to Heavenly Rest! We are glad you are visiting our site and hope you will accept this invitation to become part of this faith community.  Together we seek to know the reconciling love of the God and share that love with everyone.  Beautiful worship, exquisite music, inclusive fellowship, generous outreach and excellent Christian education await you. We thank God that more and more people are making this church their spiritual home.  Feel the caring, sharing, creating and serving that God intended for your soul at Heavenly Rest.


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