It's amazing to think this new vocational journey officially began just two years ago, and what a rich and rewarding time it's been. I have had the privilege of traveling alongside an incredible range of congregations, denominational bodies, and religious institutions, and I'm indebted to the clergy and leaders who have welcomed me and the singing, noticing, and exploration we've done together.Read More
Living through trauma and transition is exhausting work, whether it's in the White House, our family, or faith community. How can we maintain the energy we need to be fully present, to play a positive and constructive role in the face of challenges and tension we face?Read More
One year ago, I stepped away from a steady job, a comfortable New York City apartment, my closest friends and family, and went on a pilgrimage. Beginning in Seattle, I drove down the west coast of the United States over a month, stopping to visit colleagues and friends, and leading worship and workshops along the way. At the end of the trip I was invited for a six-week residency at a church in San Diego but very little was planned afterward. Call it craziness or call it faith, God gave me courage to follow an unknown path.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
"Anytime life ousts us from our places of security,
we are called upon to bring ourselves fully present to our experience."
– John Valters Paintner, The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within
The past year has provided many invitations to practice how to be fully present in the midst of change. A little over a year ago I imagined I was leaving full-time music ministry to embark on a new vocation in the non-profit world. I said goodbye to Park Avenue Christian Church and dove into a new position at the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, assisting two of the most seasoned and dedicated individuals in the classical music business. The experience was invaluable and I am grateful for the way it has shaped me as a person and as a leader.
But rather than feel my interest in the church wane, time away reminded me of what I missed. Weekends off and time with family during the holidays were a gift, something I hadn’t experienced in almost 20 years. But as colleagues and friends invited me to offer leadership in their congregations as a guest organist, choir director or song leader, my heart continued to tell me that my deepest calling is to ministry.Read More