STLT#404, What Gift Can We Bring

This song is making me angry today. Normally, I like it – a sweet song for a stewardship campaign, for mitten tree Sundays, for services about mission or honoring our ancestors or gratitude. But today, after another white man with a history of domestic abuse and an AK-15 murdered 26 (or more?) people, including young …

More

Hymn By Hymn Extra: Singing For Our Lives

I have to begin by saying that I had a lot of amazing moments yesterday in my “Great Proctors Adventure.” Proctors in Schenectady is an incredible and creatively generous arts space that brings in national tours, features music, lectures, movies, comedy, and offers space to a variety of organizations. All while being one of the …

More

STLT#402, From You I Receive

I was about to write something quick about this quick little song, and then go on with my day. I was going to write something like “how sweet and familiar this is” and something else about how some congregations accept the offering by singing this. And then I was going to add a quick note about …

More

STLT#400, Shalom Havareem

This morning I am grateful for Google’s proximate search capabilities. You see, I typed in the title of today’s hymn, a sweet traditional Jewish round, and it corrected me in that totally not shaming way Google has, by sending me results with ‘chaverim’ instead of the more phonetic ‘havayreem’. It also presented me with a …

More

STLT#399, Vine and Fig Tree

In my last year of seminary, I and five of my most creative friends co-created and produced a Broadway revue that told the story of the book of Exodus. We began our work with Biblical preparation led by Old Testament scholar David M. Carr: not just reading and exegeting the text but also examining the …

More

STLT#398, To See the World

Programming Note: I’ve added a lovely piece from Mary Grigolia about her song I Know This Rose Will Open, from an email exchange we had, about the origins and meaning of that song. After you read this, go to that entry and check it out! — There are days in this practice when the little …

More

STLT#396, I Know This Rose Will Open

Lovely Update Below! Things I don’t know: I don’t know composer and colleague Mary Grigolia, although I feel like I should. I don’t know when I learned this, but it was sometime between the Louisville General Assembly (summer 2013) and the Florida Chapter UUMA retreat (spring 2015). I don’t know why I never heard it or …

More

STLT#395, Sing and Rejoice

Friends, I am running out of things to say about these little rounds. This one – another song of unknown origin – is sweet and very pretty when fully sung. Which is a sentence I have typed before and I fear will type again. You see, the thing is – the rounds themselves are good …

More

STLT#394, Hava Nashirah

This song calls to us: “Come! Let’s be singing!” And what shall we sing? “Sing alleluia!” That’s it. That’s the song. In English and in Hebrew. Hava nashirah. Shirah alleluia! Hava nashirah. Shirah alleluia! Hava nashirah. Shirah alleluia! Come, let’s be singing. Sing alleluia! Come, let’s be singing. Sing alleluia! Come, let’s be singing. Sing …

More

STLT#393, Jubilate Deo

First – apologies for the delay this morning. A great ministers’ retreat also meant late nights and early mornings and I decided turning off my alarm was a smart move. Second – I don’t have much for you today. I could blame it on the grogginess of a long sleep, but really, there’s not much …

More

STLT#392, Hineh Mah Tov

As frequent readers know. there are many days … sometimes weeks… in this practice when the hymn is so opposed to the events/mood/weather of the day that it seems almost ridiculous. Christmas in May… morning songs after the election… happy spring in a snowstorm… Today is most assuredly NOT one of those days. Our round, …

More

STLT#391, Voice Still and Small

I’m sitting with colleagues at White Eagle Conference Center near Hamilton, NY, with 22 colleagues retreating together. What strikes me about moments like this is how apart from time yet completely in the stream of time we are at these things – in the midst of programming last night, I learned a young neighbor died. …

More