i was going to start a new blog just with this idea, but instead I will make it a new category here... its my 'soundtrack to the bible', music to connect with biblical texts - usually stuff that I have used (or had in my head) as part of a worship thingy. most often instrumental. how I've used it with the text varies a lot - how you use it is up to you - played behind a reading, as a soundtrack to a movie clip. I reckon I've got quite a few on backlog.
and this thread/category is up to you, so email me your stuff and maybe we'll make a blog out of it...
what to name this?
scripture soundtrack.... (too alliterative)
hi- fi heaven... (likewise)
chapter and verse... (bible chapter meets song verse...)
then I thought of...
concrete lemon.... ie. unlikely things going together (don't try to analyse, it was a random thought)
I could go on...
the winner is "soundtrack"- because the music moves/works for me whatever the accompaniment, I just keep happening to match it with bits of the bible and using it in worship. behind video clips, etc. and frankly, sometimes it ruins the music for me...
that's it - when you see "soundtrack #39" or click "soundtrack" in the blog categories you'll get a music track recommendation and often (but maybe not always) something to link it with. usually instrumental music...
Soundtrack #1 is
"Song for Jesse" - track 3 on "The Assassination of Jesse James" soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (member of The Dirty Three). brilliant soundtrack.
on iTunes. in many cases I'll recommend a great album, but I'll tell you if its just a standout track or two, so you can make the choice online...
Goes with recent lectionary 'track' - Genesis 12:1-3 plus Genesis 15:1-6
This is about sitting under a star-filled sky and looking at and hearing of blessing.
I have a zillion of these I have just realised.
just back from yorke peninsula where I was training lay worship leaders for about 6 hours. we had 50 people from small churches, mainly older folks - one under 30....!
session one was just getting them talking about the nature of worship. I started with an ncyc 07 song and Iona call to worship, then talked about the seasonal sequence of Jesus' baptism, temptation, call of the disciples, transfiguration, lent. I began talking about Lake Galilee while I made a lake out of blue cloth, and talked about the fishermen in their boat, using a bowl as a prop. A candle and icon represented Christ on the shore. I mention this because I'm familiar with setting up a 'station' beforehand, and it seemed to work well to make the worship focus 'live'. someone read the story of the call of the fishermen in Luke 5:1-11, then I showed the Time-Life "Jesus" DVD version of this. I invited them to consider where there was a sense of 'sameness' in their church routine, and what it might mean for them to be called to "Deeper Water". Someone read a reflection from the brilliant "Seeing Christ in Others" anthology by Geoffrey Duncan.
most of session one was about them talking in small groups about
- significant experiences of worship for them
- the positives and negatives about their congregational worship
It shouldn't have been a surprise but these older folks quickly jumped into "how to bring back the young people...." sigh. It serves me right for saying "the kids are not hanging around the shops on a Friday night saying - 'If that church only had a data projector we'd be down there every week!" I was reminded of how much pain these older folks feel about the decline of their towns and their churches, and how impossible it is to give simple answers. of course, we could have done a lot of work on that, but in another session. someone said to me later that a number of them had come for ideas to help bring people back to church. as you might expect, I did say some things about relationships with people in the community being the important thing...
session two had some input from me about 'what makes worship "worship"?, 'what makes worship worthwhile?" and 'what makes worship work?' i apologise for being in alliteration mode all day..... we talked about God's Story - Our Story - My Story, Community - Communion - Communication - Compassion - Commitment, and Story - Song - Senses - Symbol - Silence - Space etc, etc... I can only say in my defence that I think this worked for this group of mainly over 50 rural people.
we then divided,into groups and I gave each group part of our Easter worship journey to work on - Music (songs to learn and teach), Drama & Bible Readings, Art (some 'live' illustrations ideas to accompany scripture readings), Space (resetting the worship space with chairs around small tables and symbols on the tables), and a Multimedia group which had one person (and I ended up being too busy to work with her!)
the worship time was an adapted version of what I had done with the deacons previously, with elements from them and some AV stuff that I added in.
bits worth mentioning I suppose...
- we started with the stunning version of "Woyaya" from the Star of the Sea College in Melbourne (thanks again cheryl. someone should get their permission should sell this! I am hoping that it will be on the CD-ROM that accompanies your forthcoming book...)
- a stunning blessing "for a new beginning" from Benedictus by the late John O'Donohue (recently arrived on my bookshelf) on jonny's recommendation
- some of the usual clips "40 " by Si Smith from Proost, "Rabbit Proof Fence"
- a drama and monologue by Verena Johnson from Aberfoyle Lutheran Church here in Adelaide. Verena has been writing and producing wonderful dramas for years.
- stones (hunger), bowls of sand (thirsting) & bowls of water (naming), candles (hoping), vine leaves and grapes (tasting), photo images (glimpsing)
- my Emmaus fire pot was a fizzer. not enough metho I think.
I was going to include some soundtrack music but forgot (see forthcoming post!)
We baked bread in the bread machine during the session and used it for communion, using parts of my Emmaus liturgy (which incorporates stuff from the usual suspects, although I forgotten which is which -roddy, cheryl, iona...) if have to confess that some of this was a bit derivative.... roddy hamilton is responsible for any mention of "heaven" on this blog...
haven't I posed this stuff before? this is from 2005.
Emmaus Eucharist invocation
Easter is not an event that has occurred
its an adventure that has begun
not a place that we have visited
but a path on which we stand
a story not complete, but unfolding
characters still breathing
stations still teeming
with the promise of new life
not just for you and me
but for all people, in all places
a cosmic crux
a turning point of time
Easter is the season
of wild hope
of dangerous intent
of potent promise
where the future flaps unfurled
in the spirit’s breeze
where hopes bubble
with uncorked effervescence
where toes tap
to free-form rhythms
where rainbow hues
splash empty canvas
we continue the journey
we re-enter the story
to explore our questions
to uncover our doubts
to face our nagging need
We walk the path
of two who travelled a dusty road
wrapped in confusion and despair
two who shared the company of a stranger
voicing their pian
airing their fears
and in the listening
heard words of hope and promise
and in the eating
received true bread of life
Tonight we re-enter the story
with expectation that Christ
will also reveal himself to us
in sights and sounds
in words and symbols
in bread and wine
Let us pray
walk with us this night
be our companion and guide
be our teacher and friend
be our host and servant
bringing your gifts of faith, peace and hope
and deep joy
At Easter time
the space between heaven and earth
time and eternity are one
age old promises prove true
long held hopes become real
and we can finally believe
that God’s will might be done on earth
as it is in heaven
As so we gather
to celebrate and remember
in the company of the one
who names us and claims us
risen and present
not controlled by history
not confined by texts
not contained by death
One who has walked alongside us
who has heard our questions and cries
who has offered gentle wisdom
One who invites strangers to be neighbours
and enemies to be friends
around this table
Christ invites us to this table
if you know hunger or thirst
for a deeper faith
for a better life
for a fairer world
know that you are most welcome here
Narrative of Institution
On this night we recall that just as Jesus broke bread
in that upper room with twelve disciples
on the night before he died.
Sitting at a meal table -
plates and cups,
conversations and jokes
friendship and betrayal -
Christ saying, take and eat
this is my body broken for you
take and drink
this is a new covenant in my blood
so he broke bread a second time
not in a city temple but in a country pub
not with knowing friends
but with those who thought him a stranger
just as he had done before
as a host he offered welcome,
as a master he served
making strangers into friends
making a meal into a holy moment
So now we do as Jesus did
we drink and eat
simple food and drink
yet in these, Jesus himself promises to be present
Christ himself offers to make us whole.
There's more and a lot of Iona stuff in it - so go to Wild Goose Publications and buy their stuff.
anyway, they entered into it with a spirit of adventure, with varied reactions, including some positive ones. a learning experience all round. and excellent hospitality from the locals. thanks!
driving around Wallaroo and Kadina this morning I was struck by how these peninsula towns are changing and how excellent it would be to be in ministry here - to be a community host, networker, celebrant and encourager with all of the new people moving into the area. a community that is changing is open in all kinds of ways. one of the best places to be for mission. the challenge is to be a minister to the whole community - one whose focus is to help foster new community beyond the institutional church and to trust that where community is being birthed, emmanuel is there.
my prayers and encouragement go to june. gary, marty and naomi as they minister there. all wonderful, gifted people.
i bought the "as it is in heaven" dvd at k-mart based on the title and cover description. it's a swedish film about a renowned orchestra conductor who has an emotional and physical breakdown, and goes back to live in his home town. having suffered childhood trauma and since changed his name, they know of his fame but not his background. The conductor is asked to conduct the church choir, and that's where the "chocolat" type tale of an outsider bringing gifts that disrupt the local order starts to unfold. and of course the church and its minister are threatened by developments.
that's enough to tell you that this movie is worth seeing and probably I thought it was wonderful on many levels, including its critique of the church. and of course it's about music!
got home last night from the big year out "discipleship" week at victor harbour. had a great time and will start blogging about it shortly. the twins are part of the group for the year and as my harshest critics I think they enjoyed it too....
it's emusic time on the month again and now I'm listening to "damaged" by lambchop, "everyone alive wants answers" by colleen, "jerusalem" by steve earle, "the old kit bag:" by richard thompson and "chinatown" by the be good tanyas. yes, a bit of alt-country and folk in there hey.
i stumbled on a CD sale at victor..., so I'm also about to start listening to the soundtrack to "the assasination of jesse james" by nick cave & warren ellis, elizabethtown soundtrack, 2 x train albums, soundtrack to "the chorus", and "tabaran" cd/dvd by not drowning waving (I've had the cassette for years)
stay tuned for big year out (byo) posts.
last week i led a sessions on "resources for lent" for our national deacons gathering which has been going on here in Adelaide. I perhaps foolishly decided to make it experiential, which resulted in hours of work and barely getting ready in time...
i looked over the lectionary readings for the 5 weeks of lent, and initially chose texts around which I had resources to offer, then rearranged the order of the weeks slightly as follows. Most of what we did at each station was a recreation or adaptation of things that I had previously done at college chapel or elsewhere.
I'm partly posting this as I didn't give the deacons all of the sources for the resources.
Testing – Matthew 4:1-11
- "Ash" liturgy from "Celtic Wheel of the Year"
- Scripture paraphrase from Nathan Nettleton (I used these throughout)
- "Reflexions" Cards from Innovative Resources
- "40" animation by Si Smith (available from Proost)
- Song "Pacing the Cage" by Bruce Cockburn from the album "The Charity of Night"
- Community song "Lord, listen to your children praying" (by Ken Medema) from "All Together For Good" - we sang this at 3 of the stations.
- ashes from my Webber BBQ!
Thirsting – Exodus 17:1-7
- Video Clip of desert crossing from Rabbit Proof Fence (sans soundtrack) with music from "Paris, Texas" by Ry Cooder and subtitle prose by me
- bowls of water, bowls of sand, stones
- reflection by me from Exodus chapel worship - words from 'station one' here
- Community song "Lord, listen to your children praying"
- blessing 'a deep knowing' by me here
Empyting – Ezekiel 37:1-14
- skeleton & bones, candle, stones, black and red cloth, fire bowl, newspaper clippings spread around the floor, laptop with an image of a hunger striker with lips sewn together
- I was going to play Gorecki's Symphony no. 3 but the chapel CD player was stuffed and I didnt have time to rig a replacement
- gathering words adapted from the chapel service on Ezekiel here - how to make the fire properly also described here)
- an invocation by Roddy Hamilton
infuse our being,
filling our parched throats
with rainbow voices.
crowd our living
with your words of heaven,
and songs of grace.
invade our space
with your righteous anger
and heaven’s holy fury.
flood our conversations
with your rumours of justice
and the laughter of God.
infect our creeds,
uncreasing your promises
with the poetry of faith.
embrace our vision
with the casting of love
over the pattern of our dreams.
Come, Holy Spirit, come
- Scripture paraphrase from Nathan Nettleton
- Spoken Reflection (based on the station from the chapel worship and previous pentecost retreat)
Because we were running short on time I omitted the prayer in pairs and just allowed for silent reflection.
How we have longed at times for a new spirit in the church!
we have looked out across the valley and seen,
not one instance of decay
but a sea of skeletons
We too have felt the seeping away of life in all its fullness
in solitude, we have acknowledged that our preaching, our teaching
our prayers, our shepherding even our compassion |
– have failed to bring life
a message falling on deaf eyes, blind eyes, dry hearts
Is this how Jesus felt?
How often have we blamed others
for their failure to hear or learn
knowing deep within
that the problem was not theirs alone?
if we are honest
we may find this dryness within ourselves
faith stretched thin
hope in slow decay
less generosity of spirit
Can these bones yet live?
… the bones of a brittle church
… the bones of a crusty congregation?
… the bones of a decaying disciple?
What might these bones represent for you this day?
Bones take time to dry and decay.
How has this lifelessness come about?
Would you seek a quick dressing-up, a respectable skin?
Or the breath of Yahweh?
Restored sinews and muscle.
Hands that grasp and legs that leap.
A pumping heart and eyes that truly see.
May we be a church that is not lifeless in the face of oppression
May we be a church that is not voiceless in the face of injustice
May we be a church which is not cold in the face of indifference
May we be a church of pumping heart, of pulsing veins, a heaving lungs, of vibrant voice, of warming touch
I invite you to consider these news items – to find an item which stirs your blood, which yearns for your voice, which calls for your response.
I invite you to consider what keeps you at times from responding, what keeps your discipleship cold and lifeless.
I invite you to give voice to your passion for justice, your hope for renewal – speak with another person about what stirs in your gut.
I invite you to pray with another person, to ask the Spirit to breath reckless compassion and prophetic voice into your being for this situation, this cause, these people.
- Community song "Lord, listen to your children praying"
- responsive sending out by by Roddy Hamilton
May our words be just,
and echo with heaven.
May our touch be in love,
and graced with mercy.
May our silence be deep,
and hold all pain.
May our acts be kind,
and proclaim a blessing.
May our faith be true,
and revel in each moment.
May our ways be grace-filled,
and shape a holy beauty.
May our journeying be untiring,
and pursue justice.
May our dreams be restless,
and filled with spirit.
May our living be yours,
and bless the world.
May all we do
turn us always towards heaven.
Hoping – Genesis 12:1-4a
- chairs set around small tables, candles on tables (I tried to find nice candle holders & small) oil lamps, books open on tables with photos and paintings of children from around the world
- I had planned to start with a clip of a foetus in the womb from "The Human Body" accompanied by "So Special" from the album "Helium" by Urban Myth Club and me reading Psalm 139 at the same time, but dropped it at the last minute.
- instead showed the Psalm 39 animation based on "PostSecret" cards - I think this came from Anne Marie Goodrich but I might be wrong....
- I spoke about the wilderness journey being a journey of hope and promise - because God creates, calls and accompanies us, and invites us to travel in community
- Scripture paraphrase from Nathan Nettleton
- people were invited to reflect on the Genesis text, the image in front of them and their own lives, and to talk about what gave them hope
- story & poem from "Seasons of Your Heart" by Macrina Wiederkehr
- song- "We Belong to God" from "All Together For Good"
- prayer - Wee Prayer - Abraham by Roddy Hamilton
How big are your footprints, God,
and how long is your journey?
How many stars did you make, O God,
and which ones have our names?
How many others did you call to travel, O God,
before Abraham said ‘Yes!’?
How long could you wait, O God,
before Sarah would have a baby?
How enduring is faith, O God,
and how far-reaching it’s promises?
Help us count stars, O God,
and help us hear their names.
Help us number the sand-grains,
and hear old women laugh and babies cry,
and then we’ll know,
just how far-reaching,
and full of grace,
your promises are.
So be it
Glimpsing – John 9:1-41
(we abandoned the last station because we'd started late and finished late, and for some of them it was the last night of a 2 week event!) However, this is what was planned...
- tables with candles, images of Jesus from "The Christ We Share", magnetic poetry words, cups of water
- beginning with an invitation for people to close their eyes reflect in silence in their journey so far, followed by an invitation to put themselves in the shoes of the disciples, not knowing about Golgotha, and imagining what might be ahead on this journey to Jerusalem.
- play the healing on the blind man from the Visual Bible "Gospel of John" DVD
- meditation in pairs on John 9 by me from "Encounters with Jesus".
Download john-9.rtf -
an invitation to people to look at the Christ images, to see Christ with new eyes of faith, to allow the images to speak to them - an opportunity to speak in table groups of what they see
- an invitation to people to use magnetic poetry to make a response-prayer to God based on their journey this evening - then the opportunity to read these aloud in table groups
- Community Song "All That Is Hidden" from "All Together For Good"
- a blessing from "Celtic Wheel of the Year"
That's it. a heap of work I must say but the deacons seemed to appreciate it. of course, I forgot to take photos again...
I led worship at 10 am today. I seem to attract interruptions. last time one of our occasional attenders with mental health difficulties abused me out loud at the end of the sermon and then stormed out... today one of the older members collapsed during the sermon... the ambulance came. she regained consciousness so I'm hoping she's OK and that it was just the heat. at my next service I'm expecting the roof to come off and to have people lower in a paralysed man.....
it was transfiguration Sunday, which I think I had last year as well. I really want to do some kind of hanging mobile with mirrors and reflecting light sometime....
I dug out the sound files from lamb's remix competition on their song "Heaven" and made a 2.5 minute song - no fx other than adjusting volume and a couple of fades, so it was pretty basic. I was going to add some keyboard & bass to it but the tuning seemed off-concert, so too much of a hassle. in my remix lou rhodes just sang "this could be heaven right here on earth" several times, accompanied by various instrumental bits. I made an accompanying video clip with bits of Baraka and the TIME-LIFE Jesus video. the sequence was creation images - church images - Jesus images. ie. what is 'heaven on earth'? I wasnt totally happy, and clearly our church doesnt know how to cope with a video "call to worship". I used the "call of the disciples" scene from the TIME-LIFE dvd which I think is fantastic (apart from Jesus' hairdo). It was part of the intro to the service where I did a rewind to the text of the previous week.
anyway, the sermon was going ok until the interruption, and I kind of lost it after that. I had planned a brief meditation based on the transfiguration experience. we did it anyway, but... well, what can I say. at least it was better than our student minister's service late last year when someone actually died in the service.
I can't really post the lamb remix but I could email it to you for a listen...
go buy their albums!!! and baraka etc.....
made moroccan pizzas last night and finally started getting a reasonably decent thin base - halved the yeast and rolled one dough out to make 2 pizzas. both had chicken in a spice mix that I made up at the time (cummin, coriander, chilli, mixed spice, salt, honey, ginger). one pizza also had sweet potato slices, dates and drizzled honey, the other had roast capsicum, pine nuts, yellow squash and sumac. we watched "hairspray" and just loved it. tonight I'm finally getting to see 'half nelson'.