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
I wrote the text and a musical sketch for ‘You Are Present’ months ago but returned to it a few days after the mass shooting in Orlando. The initial feelings of shock and disbelief had given way to anger at the perpetrator and a broken political system that refuses to enact sensible gun control legislation. Anger melted into sadness for the victims, whose lives were ended far too soon, as well as their families and friends.Read More
Interim/transitional music ministry and consulting is Easter work. And by ‘Easter’ I don’t mean the focus is solely on success, positive change, or growth. While some might offer churches a quick path to transformation or Seven Easy Steps to Worship Renewal, experience is showing me that healthy congregational processes require an encounter with loss and death.
Cycles of renewal and rebirth are visible all around us should we open our eyes to them. Like the Easter carol proclaims, grain rises out of wintery soil; the rich humus of what has died is a seedbed for new life. Perhaps we intuitively know that the church (the literal Body of Christ) will experience transition, metamorphosis, and even death. But we do not always live as Easter people and even resist what is inevitable, even as we praise the One who died and lives again.Read More