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A melodic pop song has won top prize in an Anglican Church of Canada contest to promote the Marks of Mission—a set of priorities used throughout the global Anglican Communion.
“Hope” by Jaylene Johnson and Jim Kimball topped more than 70 entries ranging in style from rock to choral.
The Anglican Church released the song today on a multimedia site that includes the original music video and behind-the-scenes features on collaborators, including the Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir and producer Randy Murray, communications officer of the Diocese of New Westminster and a former member of rock group BTO.
“Hope,” drew in established talents, who volunteered their time. Johnson, a Winnipeg-based singer-songwriter has featured music on TV shows Pretty Little Liars and Degrassi: the Next Generation. Nashville musician Kimball has toured with Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Justin Timberlake. Supporting musicians brought similarly star-studded resumes.
Johnson’s hopeful lyrics were inspired partially by her battle with chronic pain after a car accident.
"I think hope is mysterious or maybe not so mysterious when we walk with God," she said.
Her lyrics describe a hope that's deep and enduring, beyond cheap gestures of "pulling petals off" or keeping "fingers crossed."
The national song contest called for entries that represented the Marks of Mission—five priorities for ministry used throughout the global Anglican Communion. These “marks”—including “responding to human need through loving service”—show a church focused on spiritual transformation and social justice.

Song entries were judged by a team of expert musicians. The church also ran two other related contests to celebrate the Marks of Mission: a Sunday School curriculum contest and a photography contest, open until Jan. 31.

Image: Jaylene Johnson and Jim Kimball at Vancouver's Blue Wave Studios recording HOPE in the spring of 2012