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
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 didn't grow up in denominational tradition that observed the bluesy, brooding season of Advent. I don't remember preparing for Jesus' birth so much as it simply happening.
But when I 'discovered' Advent while attending an Episcopal Church in college it opened up a whole new spiritual vocabulary for me - grief, longing, impatience, hopeful waiting, in-between spaces. These were words my closeted queer self needed to hear and it was a gift to find a season of the church year that created space to integrate my spiritual life and named the holy discomfort I felt so profoundly.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