I was honored to represent Music That Makes Community at launch of The Hymn Society's Center for Congregational Song, joining a group of 40 leaders in the field of song and hymn-writing to discuss the most important issues facing composers and writers in the church today. I was also invited to write a brief essay reflecting on the question, "What kinds of songs are needed for today's church to best intersect and witness to the world?"Read More
Rather than focus only on the ways that we have failed or fallen short, how might our Lenten journey (indeed, our life journey) change if we begin with an affirmation of our beauty and worth as beloved children of God? When doubting voices inevitably come, will we let them derail us? Or can we learn to respond with a powerful assertion of trust – ‘God calls me good, beloved child. I am a treasure deeply prized’ - and live in freedom and love instead of fear.Read More
The best way I know to express the joy of being forgiven is through song. I've been excited to find and compose music that celebrates God's unconditional love and boundless grace, names its power to liberate and lift us, and then invites us to share the blessing with others.Read More
To receive forgiveness is to have a burden lifted from our shoulders; it is a gift of grace upon grace upon grace. Forgiveness frees us from the unrelenting demands of perfectionism and fear of failure; it nourishes hope and encourages us toward a whole and integrated life. When we are forgiven our offenses are in the past, forgotten by God. We're given a clean slate and invited to begin again.
But have these life-changing words found their way to the core of our being? Does our liturgy provide space to celebrate and savor the grace we have received? Do the words and tunes we sing in response to the Assurance of Pardon invite us to be present to moment and to share the joy with others?
Learning spaces are challenging spaces. To gain a new skill requires humility and resilience, flexibility and fortitude. When we come up against our limitations, it can bruise the ego and cause us to doubt our ability or value. But what I’ve experienced through Music That Makes Community is that learning can be a joyful, enlivening, liberating experience. While we can never ease the discomfort that comes from learning a new skill or the jitters before sharing a new song, it is empowering to name our fears, to befriend them, and look for the surprising lessons and gifts these uncomfortable spaces offer to us.Read More