STJ#1074, Turn the World Around

I may be wildly speculating here, but I am pretty sure there isn’t a person my age brought up in the United States that wasn’t in some way inspired by/shaped by/comforted by/taught by/entertained by the Muppets. Now this is likely also true for people not in their early 50s, but I know that we who …

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STJ#1070, Mother I Feel You

They say brevity is the source of wit; I can affirm that a stomach flu is the source of brevity. So I’ll be brief: The second part of our quodlibet is this chant by Windsong Dianne Martin. As noted on the UUA Song Information page, This song was written on Spencer’s Butte, Eugene, Oregon in …

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STJ#1069, Ancient Mother

Sometimes the universe likes to prepare you in advance for something you will need. In some cases, it’s the impulse buy that comes in handy later that month, or a song you hear that the choir director asks you to sing a week later, or in my case, it’s a conversation on Wednesday that leads to …

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STJ#1068, Rising Green

This may be one of the most elegantly crafted songs in our hymnals. I mean no offense to other composers who read this, or to those songs that are also beloved. But there is something absolutely wondrous in this composition by Carolyn McDade. On its surface, the song is another earth based song of praise …

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STJ#1065, Alabanza

From so much to say to little to say. (Which is, of course, the nature of spiritual practice.) This is a lovely tune, by  Pablo Fernández Badillo, a Puerto Rican lay minister and federal judge who held various positions in the Puerto Rican government. Yet it is his time as a missionary that led to …

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STJ#1064, Blue Boat Home

FREEBIRD! Let me explain (updated 1/22/2018): at General Assembly in Louisville in 2013, despite terrible cell reception, many attendees endeavored to live tweet the events as they unfolded. On Friday morning, we sang Blue Boat Home. Friend and colleague Hannah Roberts made a comment to her friend Meredith Lukow, who tweeted: … because like “Freebird” by …

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STJ#1056, Thula Klizeo

One late December day in the mid 1990s, my partner Trish and I got in the car and drove from our home in Durham, NC, to spend Christmas with my family in Round Lake, NY. The drive is long – about 13 hours – and was usually broken up by little side trips to historic …

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STJ#1054, Let This Be a House of Peace

There’s a thing that’s been happening in our congregations that is reflective of what’s been happening in our society: anxiety. Anxiety about the current administration – its real and sustained attacks on our principles and the real and sustained traumas we are experiencing – spill over from our personal lives into our houses of worship. …

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STJ#1053, How Could Anyone

In 1991, even as my life was falling apart after a messy breakup, I was welcomed into a community of singers known as the Common Woman Chorus. Started by a delightful woman named Eleanor Sableski (may she rest in peace), who was also the music director at Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham, North …

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STJ#1052, The Oneness of Everything

I don’t know if it’s still true, but I remember in high school learning a bit about quantum physics – enough at least to know that physicists at the time weren’t sure if the universe is made of particles or waves. (Google suggests that there’s now an uncomfortable acceptance of a duality, but that’s a …

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STJ#1051, We Are…

More than once during my years at Union Theological Seminary, I said to myself “what is my life even like?” because of some improbable experience or another. To be clear, I didn’t choose to go to Union because of the possibility of meeting important or famous people;- I went because of the possibilities awaiting me …

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STJ#1048, Ubi Caritas

You say the words “ubi caritas” to me and my heart sings as I think of the many experiences I have had singing those words. And if you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective), you’ll hear me waxing poetic about the lush music these words are often set to. I don’t think it’s a …

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STJ#1047, Nada Te Turbe

We have just entered my favorite section of Singing the Journey: the spot where instead of spreading them out, we get a series of Taizé songs all together. It’s my favorite section, although individually they’re not all on my list of favorites – not that any of them are bad, but some are beloved more …

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