The Plural Guild came together to create and curate music, poems, prayer, visual art, liturgy, experiences and community that embrace questions and doubts, as well as faith. To make work that can be used in worship gatherings that’s truly inclusive and helps everyone feel like they belong. That has eyes wide open to the pain of the world. That speaks of a God who came to this earth in Jesus to show us the way to love and live fully alive lives. Work that invites participation versus perpetuates performance. For anyone…and everyone… who longs for a more loving, just, open and abundant world.
Started by the husband and wife team of Gary Rand and Lenora Rand, The Plural Guild grew out of our shared lifelong passion for making meaningful rituals and worship experiences and for creating prayers, poems and visual art that honestly reflect faith and doubt, hopes and laments and God’s calling to do justice and love mercy.
Gary Rand, co-founder of The Plural Guild, is also Director of Worship Activities and Adjunct Professor in Worship at McCormick Theological Seminary. A veteran worship pastor, teacher, workshop leader, songwriter and music producer, over the last 20 years, he's helped craft creative, inclusive, diverse and participatory worship experiences for churches, seminaries, denominational conferences and national events like The Wild Goose Festival. Not only does he lead this liturgical resource site, he produces The Many, a music collective creating new music for worship.
Lenora, co- founder of The Plural Guild, has been crafting music, prayers, and liturgical experiences for people who want to worship in ways that more deeply reflect an honest and open expression of faith, for most of her life. She is also the lyricist for the band, The Many. As a writer, she is the author of the highly-acclaimed blog, Spiritual Suckitude, has contributed to magazines like Christian Century, and for blogs like Red Letter Christians, the Burnside Writers Collective and Wild Goose Festival. She also founded and helps run an ad agency called SmallGood, which is helping all kinds of businesses and nonprofits committed to making a positive impact in the world “grow their good.”
The Many is an indie folk/gospel, liturgically-grounded new kind of worship band, an intentionally diverse collective, creating music for people who want to do justice, love mercy, walk humbly, and follow the Jesus who so loves the world. Featuring singer/worship leaders Darren Calhoun and Leslie Michele, and singer/songwriter Hannah Rand, The Many’s music is crafted for people to sing together…in congregations, small groups…wherever people gather to pray, imagine, hope for and work towards a new day where love and mercy win.
The Plural Guild was a little inspired by things like the Medieval arts and crafts guilds and the altar guilds of many churches. Our vision for it has always been to be a loose cooperative of people - a community - based, not necessarily on proximity, but on grace and miracles and creativity and the desire to pursue some common goals. There are a number of musicians, visual artists, poets, writers, theologians, thinkers and creators who are part of this “togethering” we call The Plural Guild, ones we’ve had the privilege of working with in various ways and places across the country and through the years. We have been honored to call them partners, co-creators and “collaborators in goodness.” You can find out more about them in the Partners section of this site. We also often call them simply “people we love” and we think you’ll love them too - they all inspire and encourage us. Each of them, in their own ways, are bringing more hope and beauty into the world.