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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Power of Contemporary Song

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Introduction – Experiencing Something New One of the biggest challenges I face each week as I prepare a sermon for the morning service is to identify an experience I’ve had and with which you might resonate.  That’s not always easy.  But when I identify that common experience, we can set out on the sermon path together.  As I was considering how I might begin today’s message, I thought I might relay my experience with opera in honor of our new friends from California. 
How many of you really like opera?  That’s what I thought.  I didn’t grow up appreciating it either. Most middle class Americans don’t have much of a clue when it comes to opera.  And because the experience they may have had with opera was diminished from its ideal, many, if not most Americans would rather pass.  I had exposure to opera in school through music appreciation and music history classes.  I watched a little on PBS.  I also attended a few amateur and student productions.  The combination of high skill demand f…

The Richness of Hymns

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(NOTE: There are three places in this post where I reference the hymns, "Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord" and "All Creatures of Our God and King."  Unfortunately, I couldn't upload a copy of the print music.  If you're curious, I recommend a hymnal to get a visual on what I'm describing.)
Corralling the Cows in the Corn There are two competing silly stories that have been making the rounds in churches since the 1990’s. They go like this:
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was. “Well,” said the farmer. “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.” “Praise choruses?” asked the wife. “What are those?” “Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer. “Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife. The farmer said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that…