colleagues and co-conspirators

Posted by on Sep 30, 2010

One of the joys of going “on tour” is connecting with colleagues and co-conspirators all over the place. Last weekend at CMU it was good to re-connect with various colleagues in the world of academia. I love the way Walter Brueggemann, in his essay “Texts That Linger, Words That Explode,” articulates the partnership between the “scholarly” and “poetic” vocations in the life of the covenant community… I have found this to be very helpful in understanding my own vocation, as I often find myself working at “translating” insights from the worlds of biblical and theological scholarship into forms that we can sing together… the work of  “imaginative re-utterance” of the ancient text that is sensed to be, again, “the right text” in and for this moment… And the set list from any given concert is a reflection of the fact that we are co-conspirators together in this “ancient, urgent cause”… Singing “Our God is a God Who Makes Friends” with a community that has been experiencing just that… singing Tim Chesterton‘s “Jonah” song in Carrot River, just down the road from Arborfield where he served as priest in the Anglican parish… singing “Peace in Public” with the folks in Osler, who have been the instigators of the “Peace in the Public Square” initiative… singing “In Our House” and “It Takes All Kinds” and being hosted by folks who are making ecological, economic, and community sustainability the three pillars of their farming operation… singing “Infiltrating The World” while re-connecting with co-conspirators that I’ve gotten to know in Costa Rica, Paraguay, Colombia… In the CMU chapel last Friday I shared something of my various vocational musings and meanderings… the irony that I graduated in such a hurry to “change the world,” and now I find myself writing “songs of faith for small and tall”… which is slow, patient, and humble work… you can’t really draw straight lines and point to causal connections between this song and that particular change-for-the-better… And yet maybe a song, well written and well placed, really can help to encourage, cajole, and strengthen the community of faith to be what it is called to be and to “do its thing” in the world… Connecting with communities when I’m on tour really is a vivid experience of the fact that “it takes all kinds to make the body”… and “we are partners all together in God’s great big wonderful...

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songs popping up in interesting places

Posted by on Sep 16, 2010

It’s always interesting to see where songs pop up. It’s heartening to hear from individuals, families, and congregations that are putting this music to good use. Recently I’ve become aware of a few new places in the world of publications where a song of mine has made an appearance: – Sean Gladding, of Communality in Lexington, Kentucky, refers to my song “God’s Love is for Everybody” in his article on “Story-Driven Service of Worship” in the September issue of Worship Leader magazine. (Sean has a new book coming out that I can’t wait to see.) – this dude (see any resemblance?) includes the song “You’re Not Alone” on the syllabus for his MTS  (Master of Theological Studies) course on the book of Job. – this one surprised me most of all: Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler included my song “Tell Me What You Wish For” as part of a recent curriculum called “Body and Soul: Healthy Sexuality and the People of...

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