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    • Emily Kierstead
    • Emily Kierstead is a musician and composer, who has been writing contemporary hymns most of her life. She has produced two song books, “Eternal Spirit,” and “Holy is Our Life,” which reflect the current theology and cosmology of  today's progressive Christianity. She is concerned that our “hymnology” and the language of our liturgy must speak to an authentic spirituality, an inclusive and scientifically based faith.She has served as a minister of the United Church of Canada since 1964, but took a six-year hiatus to teach Elementary School music while her children were little. Now retired, she and her partner Don Murray live on a lovely lake in Nova Scotia where the cry of the eagle begins their day and the call of the loon is their evening benediction.
       
      Emily conducts a community choir comprised of forty singers from ages 17 to 86, and plays in a local fiddle group.  On the last page of each songbook is a special offer for choirs, large or small.

Music in Sacred Community

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” So wrote the famed philosopher, Nietzsche. I believe that music in sacred community is the medium which allows us to feel and to express our deepest emotions: joy, lament, awe and thanksgiving. Music in sacred community binds us together. Studies have shown that groups who make music together feel a certain kinship with each other, and leave that time of singing or drumming, playing instruments, etc. with their endorphins dancing, and their bodies humming with better health and vibrations. Surely when all of this is enhanced by words of hymns or songs, we can know that we have participated in a rich experience which has fed our souls.

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Ritual as Part of Life

Let us hold gently to those rituals which have had meaning for us, but examine them diligently to be sure they are inclusive of others. Let us find richness in rituals which honour the Earth, our home; which revere the non-human community; and which draw together the human species in strength and compassion.

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