Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sample of Congregational hymn and a choir anthem

Friends, we haven’t yet been able to attract a critical mass of singers — at least two in each of the four parts. But the Lawrence group is alive and doing well. If you “like” our page on FB, I can keep you informed if we can get a decent group together.
You are sure welcome to join us for worship at 9:30 Sunday mornings at Rainbow Mennonite Church. Our Mennonite hymnbook contains many modernized versions of sacred harp songs, and we often sing hymns a cappella in 4-part harmony as a congregation.
Here is a link to one of our congregational hymns:
And one of our choir’s:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Reflections on “Lifelines to Healing,” a new initiative of CCO in KC

"Lifelines to Health" is a beginning movement that seems to me the right mix of working on the grassroots level on a large national problem with global connections. It uses the public health model for analyzing the factors and evaluating the treatment options. And since Walter Brueggemann's Prophetic Imagination was cited, I am very impressed with the depth of preparation and professionalism of the presenters including Daniel Damon, paid organizer for Communities Creating Opportunities.

I hope to pursue this initiative personally and think it has potential appeal to Rainbow Peace & Justice generally. This meeting was held on August 19, 2013, at St. Peter's CME in KCK.

The key issue for me is reducing gun violence, and I think creating a link between black congregations where gun violence has been rampant for many years and white congregations newly aroused with Sandy Hook and Trayvon Martin may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of this generation.

My humble initiative to develop the Singing for Peace group at Rainbow is an attempt to give whites a place in this movement for social change along with our black neighbors. I hope that Rainbow P&J will be able to host a congregational workshop for Lifelines to Healing, and that we can host neighborhood "listening sessions" to get first-hand stories of gun violence in Rosedale. This is a traditional organizing technique for CCO and  has proven very effective in the push for health care reform, and I think, for pay day loans.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Sing at a Vigil?

Sacred Harp singing, you say, is not a performance, is of, by and for the singers themselves. Why would you even dare to sing at a public vigil for a victim of gun violence?

I say, a vigil is a holy gathering, held in public, to express grief and ask for mercy.

Sacred harp singing is a holy act, is also a group activity, and expresses the cultural heritage of a certain segment of our community.

Vigils for victims of gun violence are most commonly held in our African-American neighborhoods, where the majority of deaths by gunshot occur.

When there were shootings at Columbine High School,
at Virginia Tech University,
at the Tuscon, AZ, supermarket parking lot,
at the Aurora, CO, movie theatre, and
at Sandy Hook Elementary School — the white community paid attention.

I say, let this one segment of the white community which loves Sacred Harp singing, bring our presence and our culture and our spiritual power to join with our African-American neighbors at any events we can. Especially at vigils for victims of gun violence.