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.… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
STLT#323, Break Not the Circle
Just before I opened the hymnal, I saw a Facebook post from a dear friend who asked ‘But what if this world runs out of lovers? What then?” Then for me was opening the hymnal to this wonderful hymn, reminding us to draw the circle ever wider, because – as Susan Frederick Gray has reminded us, “no… Continue reading
STLT#318, We Would Be One
If this spiritual practice (and yes, I still consider it a spiritual practice first and foremost) has taught me anything, it’s taught me that we are an aspirational faith. Even those hymns which were once cutting edge and are now problematic show us the truth of our assertion that revelation is not sealed – as… Continue reading
STLT#309, Earth Is Our Homeland
Now THIS is a humanist hymn I can get behind. What a glorious celebration of that creating, created, creative spark within each of us that is greater than the sum of us and that in the living evokes Mystery. Earth is our homeland: a song of stars, a grace wrought of the ages, an opal… Continue reading
STLT#213, There’s a Wideness in Your Mercy
There’s a special announcement at the end of this post – but you have read it first. No cheating! (Like I’d notice, but really, what fun would it be? Especially since there’s a good hymn to talk about!) This hymn, y’all. It’s not the most lush or most poetic, but don’t let aesthetics get in… Continue reading
STLT#194, Faith Is a Forest
Shelley Jackson Denham is a denominational treasure. This hymn was commissioned by the hymnal commission, and wow, did she deliver. I know some might avoid this one because it’s an unfamiliar tune, but trust me when I say that (a) it’s not that difficult – although you definitely don’t want to just spring it on… Continue reading
STLT#171, N’kosi Sikelel’ i Afrika
I started this post thinking it was random thought day here at the Far Fringe, but as I write, I realize I do have some thoughts, largely because what I have learned about the song. So here goes: First, it’s helpful to know what this song is and where it’s from. It was written in… Continue reading
STLT#169, We Shall Overcome
My first instinct this morning was to talk around the history of this song to get to a discussion of grammar – namely the meaning that shifts when we go from singing ‘we will overcome’ to ‘we shall overcome’… there’s something there, but god help me I just can’t be bothered to dig in. And… Continue reading
STLT#161, Peace! The Perfect Word
Remember when I was eyeballs deep in those aspirational hymns in the In Time To Come section? And how wearing, given our current political crisis, I found them? Yeah. Here we are again. I am worn out by these hymns, barreling down, calling us over and over and over again to remain hopeful and energized.… Continue reading
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