As someone who has participated in marches and civil disobedience with my faith family over the past years, I don’t intend to minimize the power in acts of solidarity or the need for voices raised in public protest and resistance. But I don’t want us to miss the seeds of change sown through songs we share in sanctuaries, fellowship halls, and faith formation spaces, as well as on the streets. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to sing with Mary, whose prophetic aria of praise and protest gives us courage to “sing a new world into being.”Read More
I wonder if Psalm 137 shines light on the way that communities hold trauma, anxiety and grief, even in ways we may not fully aware of? I don’t believe this psalm is inviting us to some sort of catharsis. I don’t feel better after praying these words; they make me uneasy, even nauseous. I hear no comfort, nothing pastoral; only an unsettled reminder of just how difficult and messy life can be.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?
Over the past year I’ve been collecting short songs and hymns focused on spiritual journey and pilgrimage. Some are walking songs or invite body movement; others feature a beautiful or thoughtful combination of text and tune. I have used many of them in congregations I've served as an interim/transitional musician and I'm happy to share the list with others as a resource.Read More