Pray With Our Feet is a protest song written a few days after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Based on a quotation by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, it speaks back to the shallow 'thoughts and prayers' and inaction of American politicians in face of ongoing mass shootings and gun violence.Read More
I’m convinced singing has a role to play in the moral and political struggles of this moment but it has been notably absent at protests and marches I’ve participated in over the past three years. What can we do? What is already being done? How might music enliven and sustain today’s movement and help us ‘sing a new world into being,’ as hymn writer Mary Louise Bringle invites?
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
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
Since last fall’s #blacklivesmatter protests in New York City, I have become more and more aware of the privilege our culture affords me as a white man. I have come to understand that I cannot speak on behalf of persons of color, as if I know best what others need or want. I have not walked in their shoes nor do I understand the challenges or hurdles many face on a daily basis – from subtle, demoralizing micro-aggressions to unwarranted scrutiny to police brutality like we saw at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina this week.
But I can support and help amplify voices of color that are speaking their truth. I can name and confront racism whenever and wherever I see it. I can advocate, work for systemic change, and seek justice and equality for all, especially black lives. It is not enough to simply pray for a better world but I am called to be God’s hands and feet. My faith requires me to leverage my privilege for the wider good. And God also calls me to encourage and inspire other privileged folk to action, especially in the church.Read More