Friday, January 31, 2020

Before you assume you know where all your parishioners stand on public issues

... some of the latest numbers from Gallup. Just a snapshot of the nation at present, but it's good to stay on top of such things before you jump to conclusions.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Toothless Impeachment

This is perfect for what is sure to go down in history as "the toothless impeachment."

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog, where prayer is not something you claim to be doing for the sake of political posturing.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Salix Babylonicus: A Youth / Adult Sunday School Discussion Guide

This review of The Secret of Salix Babylonicus is two years old but, like the book itself, improves with age. I hope one day soon to produce a longer study guide for multiple sessions, but the reviewer has done a good job in identifying some probing questions that are bound to evoke rich discussion. So many themes at work in this story! I remain grateful for the sympathetic review. And what is Salix about if not music therapy, pastoral listening, the ministry of presence, all of which revolve around sympathy?

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Christmas at Heritage (2019): "The Sound of Christmas"

Here is the video of the University of Dubuque's Christmas at Heritage. This year (2019) the theme was "The Sound of Christmas," featuring the music and narration of Elisabeth Von Trapp. It was my pleasure once again to serve as "narrative guy." Having selected scripture readings in the Cambridge tradition of Lessons and Carols (2018), arranged and adapted translations of Romanos the Melodist (2017), woven non-traditional scripture readings into other narratives for a fresh perspective à la Year D (2016), and written a three-person play (2015), it seemed time to return to the approach take six years ago (2014) when I was first invited to take part in this lovely, annual event and write some fresh poems for the occasion. The whole video is worth viewing. You will doubtless enjoy the folk style of our distinguish guest, the wind and vocal ensembles, and the full choir which was in fabulous form, but if the time is short and you want to hear my "two bits" (or five bits, actually), you can hear Mrs. Von Trapp deliver these narrative poems at the time codes below:

I. What News is This? (15:11)
II. The Savior Has Appeared! (28:35)
III. The Promised, Pure Daystar is Born. (40:55)
IV. Closer Now, Deeper Down (53:45)
V. The Sound of Christmas (1:04:54)