Friday, October 29, 2010

Call for new verses: Balm in Gilead

I love singing ...
"There is a balm in Gilead
to make the wounded whole. 
There is a balm in Gilead
to heal the sin-sick soul."
There's something very soothing about the opening notes.  Like the oscillating imitates the movement of a hand on a back that needs comforting.  Or perhaps it brings back memories of having Mother rubbing Vicks on your chest, a real balm to help one breathe in the throes of a cold. 

I imagine the African American slaves who heard and sang this spiritual were heartened by it.  That they'll be made whole and that those who have treated them harshly would be healed of whatever causes them to be that way.  This sentiment is still relevent to the struggles of today.  At least for those who are able to wish all people peace. 

There are two verses typically associated with the spiritual which Wikipedia lists.  They're encouraging even when honest about the challenges that confront us daily. 

Is it selfish to want more?  I want to hear more stories about those who have overcome abusive power struggles.  It is these stories that give hope.  And so many need hope.  I'm wondering if intrepid poets, hymnwriters and accidental wordsmiths have written more verses.  Or would like the challenge to pen some verses.  Are you up for the challenge?  Or can you think of a friend who would be perfect? 

If you're up to the call, copy those verses into a comment below or drop me an email at pointsoflightmusic@gmail.com.  They may be used in worship services, but I promise to let you know we used it and acknowledged you on the reprints. 

Blessings! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seeking spiritual-religious songs from popular scene

I love my new church job.  It is at an open and welcoming congregation of "kind, unpretentious people trying to live gratefully in response to God’s many gifts" (per their website). By my interactions over the last two months, I can say honestly "they are who they say they are."  Gotta love it.

One of my tasks as the Music Director for their new Progressive Service is to seek out music that doesn't typically find itself in the worship service, but whose words resonates with a meaningful spiritual life.  How cool, right?!?  I thought so too. 

Want to join my fun in looking for such songs?  I'd love to have you along for the ride -- there's millions of songs on this planet and I only have two ears.  In particular, I'm looking for songs that fit into one of the themes for the year:
  • Advent Conspiracy
  • Marriage Equality & Full Inclusion
  • Haiti
  • Reconciliation (during Lent)
  • Being Green & Earth-friendliness
Leave the title and/or artist of a song or YouTube link in a comment under this post.  From time to time, I'll share some of what I find too. 

Blessings!