GULF COVE — Hope Lutheran Church is hoping to jazz things up Sunday nights for its congregation by introducing jazz liturgy to the worship experience.
A quartet from the big band group Ingroov will play at an all-new jazz mass Sunday nights starting at 7 p.m. March 10. The quartet will include Ingroov founder and saxophone player Fred Capitelli, John Johnson on bass, Chris Farnum on drums and David Mims on piano.
“We’re trying to build this congregation to what it should be for the size of the community,” said Wes Runk, interim pastor at Hope Lutheran. “Our Saturday evening service is casual and doesn’t use the traditional liturgy.”
Runk said the idea of a jazz mass came to him when he heard jazz liturgies were popular up north. Runk called Gerald Wilkins, president of the Charlotte County Jazz Society, to gauge any interest.
“I started talking to Wes early January,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins said jazz is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, particularly in schools due to the efforts of teachers.
So why not in churches?
Following the service, there will be a free wine and cheese reception from 8-9 p.m.
“Jazz is an American Institution,” Capitelli said in a prepared statement. “There are many styles of jazz. A worship service will give jazz an appropriate venue to reach a new group of people who will learn that this type of music is a great way to praise God.”
Runk said the Sunday evening service will include full communion.
“(Fred and I) developed the liturgy,” Runk said. “We have hundreds of hymns in the jazz format.”
Runk said he is accompanying the quartet with nine vocalists.
“We’re pleased that we can expose people to jazz liturgy,” Wilkins said. “I’m hoping it will bring more to the jazz community.”
The church is located on 14200 Hopewell Ave. in Gulf Cove. For more information call 941-697-2345.