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
In 2013, several of my pieces were published in Glory to God, the new hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (USA). It's been a pleasure to hear how one particular response, Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me, has been helping congregations around the country sing their heartfelt joy and praise.
Earlier this month, I received a particularly meaningful testimony from Dr. Mel Bringle, who served as the chair of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, the group that compiled and edited the hymnal.Read More
Join me for a weekend residency in Cincinnati, Ohio from May 20-22. We'll SING sacred music from diverse cultures and traditions, EXPLORE leadership practices that encourage and animate congregational singing, and REFLECT on ways that worship can be life-giving, inclusive, and prophetic.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
Last month, Not So Churchy, an emergent Presbyterian faith community where I share musical leadership, had its very first baptism. A trans woman in the community, who had begun her gender transition a few months prior, stepped into the baptismal waters and was marked as Christ's own. I had the privilege of being one of her sponsors, charged by the community to be a spiritual companion on the journey.Read More