News for November 2011

Slow Down, It’s A New Year

It has been a beautiful November. Visits from my brother and favorite mother in law. Evenings with friends. Attending a live recording with the Pakans. The first snow. Songs pitched (and Kurtz caught a few…) Homemade pizza and getting back into the baking season. Upcoming Turkey and Buy Nothing Day. And celebrating the season of Advent (The start of the Liturgical Calendar.) In an aggressive attempt to keep things calm and focused during this season I’ve decided to take a break from my online presence (blog and facebook.) I’ll still check my e-mail and mail box so feel free to send me a note. See you after Christmas.

Posted: November 22nd, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized
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New Advent Song/Planning Ahead

This year I’ll be the artist in residence at Humble Walk Lutheran Church during the season of advent.  Me and the Pastor, who I totally have a crush on*, have been doing some planning and what not and though it’s still a month away I have some ideas.  They may be worth sharing.  If you don’t agree, go ahead and stop reading.

Still with me?  Swell.  Here’s one of my flaws:

I generally treat Advent’s expectant tone in the same way I treat Lent’s repentant tone.  Granted, the two seasons have much in common, but I’m realizing that whereas both are seasons of preparation, Advent’s tone has room for more joy and less somber.  When we get ready to host a party at our house there’s definitely some quiet planning but there’s also Jonsi on the radio when we start cleaning the house, a little Uncle Tupelo while we put out decorations… getting ready is lively and fun.

With this in mind I’m pacing the service from quiet to joyous.  Here are four songs we will most likely be using:

Opening – Perfect Love – Nate Houge
A new song of mine with an incarnational theme.  For many the holidays are filled with anxiety, depression, and being overwhelmed.  I feel that all those are components of fear.  I wanted a reminder of love’s power over fear. It sounds like this: Perfect Love And looks like this: Perfect Love.  If you’d like to use it in your faith community, let me know.  I’ll say yes.

Confession and Absolution – O Tender God Have Mercy – Richard Bruxvoort Culligan
I’ve been looking for an opportunity to sing this one ever since singing it with Richard last February.  Kyrie’s are rarely this comforting.  It’s a fragile time of year for many of us.  Being embraced with mercy and healing is so important.

Communion – The chorus of Under African Skies – Paul Simon
I’m grateful to Joel Pakan‘s thoughts on ‘re-membering’ – being made whole, as we are in the eucharist.  This is the story of how we begin to remember…This is the powerful pulsing of love in our veins… and then we all get to sing oom-ba.  How can you go wrong?

Sending – Tis A Gift To Be Simple – Shaker Traditional
One theme that came up in conversations within the congregation is that advent is busy and hectic and Christmas becomes a let down as a result.  The intent of this service is to put simplicity at the center of our preparations so that when it comes time to celebrate Christ’s birth we still have some energy and excitement.

So there it is.  Our simple little Advent service.  There may be a Hymn of the Day.  There may be a song during offering.  But maybe not.  Our plan is to end each service (we worship in the evening) with home made soup and bread.  I welcome your thoughts on Advent.

*We’re married.  To each other.

Posted: November 2nd, 2011
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: 2 Comments.

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