The following is a press release (of sorts) that I did for a friend’s web site. Please feel free to share it yourself, either by linking to this blog post or by copying and pasting the release to your own blog, website, Facebook page, etc. Thanks!
John Allen Bankson is an ordained Presbyterian minister, a classically-trained musician and composer, and an avid scratch baker and foodie. There aren’t too many jobs that call for all three of these skill sets, but he manages to combine the three by sharing his interests online. He currently has two eBooks for sale on PayLoadz: “Everyday Miracles: the Sacraments as Ordinary Means of Grace” and “Bengtsson’s Baking Secrets.” “Everyday Miracles” contains a concise theology of the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion (from a Presbyterian/Reformed perspective) and explores why the Sacraments tend not to be integral to our lives as Christians, and why (and how) they should be. It is full of interesting bits of history as well as practical suggestions. Discussion questions follow each chapter, making this eBook ideal for Sunday School classes! Bible Study groups, church officer training, and many other applications. “Bengtsson’s Baking Secrets” offers foolproof, tried-and-true recipes, from Bankson’s family (“Bengtsson” being the original Swedish spelling of his surname), with step by step instructions and a lot of “insider” tips and tricks. More information on both books can be found on the PayLoadz site: http://store.payloadz.com/results/329159-revjatb
On the music side of things, Rev. Bankson has made three of his choral anthems available on the CadenzaOne website. “Welcome, Child of Mary” is an original composition, with the text drawn from an old Dutch Christmas hymn. The other, “God Our Father (Das Vaterunser)” is an arrangement of a German hymn with a very folk-like character. He has written an English text for this piece (a paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer) but has included the original German too. It is great as a “general” anthem or as a Communion anthem. With two sets of words—one in German and one in English—it is also quite appropriate for World Communion Sunday. Bankson’s arrangement of this piece is quite popular both in Germany and in Switzerland: now it is time for American choirs to discover it too! The third, “Hosanna in Excelsis,” is his newest piece, combining the traditional text from the Eucharistic liturgy with an original melody that segues into the well-known hymn “All Glory, Laud, and Honor.”