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The Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir

The choir sings backup for the song “Hope.” They were recorded at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver.

Meet the producer

Randy Murray, communications officer for the Diocese of New Westminster and former member of rock group BTO, explains why he volunteered to produce the ...

Meet the songwriters

Jaylene Johnson and Jim Kimball tell the story of how some oatmeal and coffee got them started in writing “Hope.”

Why we need hope today

The Rev. Jamie Howison, priest at saint benedict’s table, shares why hope is so important in the church today.

The story behind “Hope”

A melodic pop song with great depth, “Hope,” by Jaylene Johnson and Jim Kimball is the winner of the Anglican Church of Canada’s 2011 Marks of Mission song contest. The contest called for entries that represented the Marks of Mission, five ministry priorities used throughout the global Anglican Communion.

No stranger to hardship and illness, Johnson, a Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter wrote the song in 2010 with Nashville musician/producer Jim Kimball. Her battle with chronic pain after a car accident was a theme fresh in her mind.

“I think hope is mysterious or maybe not so mysterious when we walk with God,” Johnson said of the song.

Both Johnson and Kimball bring musical experience to the project. Johnson’s songs have appeared on network shows like Pretty Little Liars and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Kimball has toured with Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Justin Timberlake.

The contest attracted more than 70 entries, ranging from rock to choral, and were judged by an panel of expert musicians: Jeff Enns, a composer and music director at St. James Lutheran Church in Elmira, Ont.; Anglican bishop Gordon Light, a member of praise group Common Cup Company; and Randy Murray, communications officer for the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster and former member of rock group BTO.

“[The song has an] inspiring chorus…and a fresh modern sound,” the judges wrote in their final summary. “Jaylene has a singular vocal style which is certainly comparable to other contemporary female singer songwriters but at the same time she is an original.”

The next step was recording. In March 2012, volunteer producer Randy Murray gathered a team of veteran musicians in Vancouver to support the song with creative instrumentation. It came together over hours of hard work, beautiful sounds, and then ultimately, a polished final product.

What’s next for “Hope”? Its powerful message will be shared far and wide—in the church and beyond.

As the Rev. Jamie Howison says in his short video, “If we forget how to hope, if we forget how to dream, if we forget how to imagine, then we can list off all of the Marks of Mission that we could possibly invent and it’s not going to take us anywhere…”

“Hope is one of the real keys to how we have to be as a people of God [in order] to move forward.”