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Music Moments

Such a captivating experience is not limited by the type or setting of the music. Classical, pop, bluegrass, jazz, country, blues, to name common Western music, all have the capacity to release an energy within us, previously pent up, but now free. That release can and does happen to anyone, any time, any place. Music is one of the great equalizers of persons. No matter who you are, you are susceptible to this unfathomed power. What is going on here?

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Singing in the Beloved Community

St. Augustine said that the one who sings, prays twice. We do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words; we get closest to praying as we ought when we sing. But church singing has changed rapidly in the 30-some years I’ve been a pastor. The hip new hymnal that came out in the nineties contains far too many hymns that were written for an organ and a congregation in the hundreds, not a guitar, a piano, and a raggedy chorus of twenty-some.

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What Kind of Music do We Use?

I believe that any truly spiritual path must understand that its main function is to provide the opportunity to experience true Unity or Oneness with all Creation. There are many ways to say the same thing, but every church, religious, or spiritual gathering is trying to help the attendee experience that Oneness. And I am convinced that one of the places we can do that is with music. The mega-churches in large part figured that out decades ago. But go into a typical church today with sixty members and listen to them try and experience Oneness or sense of Connectedness as they stumble through a difficult hymn or debate theology. Most people at some point in that experience are just hoping for the hymn to be over.

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Progressive Praise

The varieties of religious experience call forth hymns and songs, emerging from the varieties of cultures, personality types, and religious expressions. Our worship and song reflects this diversity. We join in sacred worship traditional and contemporary, North American and African, and European and Asian. We chant hymns from Taize and melodies from Iona, and dance to “Siyahamba” (We are marching in the light of God), sometimes in the same service.

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When I am the earth

From the Boundless Life collection

When I am the earth
And the earth is me
God and I are one.

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May the sap flow in our hearts

From the Boundless Life collection

May the sap flow in our hearts
Like the greening of the Earth:
May our liveliness unfold
Like the joyful Spring-time’s birth,

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In the world of Nature’s weaving

From the Boundless Life collection

In the world of Nature’s weaving
Words and plants reveal their meaning
Through a way beyond perceiving
Life as only surface truth.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Bibles and Bible Study, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Audio MP3, Hymns, and PDF Download.

Let your eye be single

From the Boundless Life collection

Let your eye be single, Jesus urged,
See behind Earth’s many things;
In the place of all you long to own
Choose the sight awareness brings.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Audio MP3, Hymns, and PDF Download.

O Golden Doors

From the Boundless Life collection

O golden doors now open wide
Revealing myst’ry’s grace,
The grace beyond the imaged word;
Beyond all time and space.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Ritual, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult. Rituals: Communion. Resource Types: Audio MP3 and Hymns.

If you want to be happy (A Reflection on the Beatitudes)

From the Boundless Life collection

If you want to be happy
Let go and trust God
Finding pleasure in sharing wealth.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Texts: Luke and Matthew. Resource Types: Audio MP3, Hymns, and PDF Download.

The Dough Is Rising

From the Boundless Life collection

The dough is rising,
The frond unfurling,
The people’s hope is growing
For justice everywhere.

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To God the Process

From the Boundless Life collection

To God the process, God the life,
To God compassion’s spring,
To God the boundless way of love,
To God in everything.

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