Worship Quote of the Week: John Wesley on Singing When It’s Difficult

“Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find it a blessing.” – John Wesley If one was to begin a new Sunday morning feature [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: Give Me the Faith Which Can Remove

Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany Give Me the Faith Which Can Remove Text: Charles Wesley, 1749 Tunes: MAGDALEN, SURREY, MOUNT ZION, GIESSEN Collect O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very [Read More…]

Elmo Goes to Church: What Sesame Street Can Teach Us about Worship

I loved Sesame Street when I was a kid. In fact, fascination with the show lasted longer that it did for most other kids, to the point at which I realized bringing up current plot lines at the elementary school lunch table was socially suicidal behavior. I remember watching new episodes through around 1990, but [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: Take My Life, and Let It Be

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany Take My Life, and Let It Be Text: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1874 Tunes: HENDON, MOZART, YARBROUGH, PATMOS, MESSIAH Psalm 119:1-8 Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart, who [Read More…]

16 Reasons This Millennial Almost Left the Church

It seems everyone is leaving the church these days, especially the coveted millennial generation. And quite honestly, I don’t really blame them. I almost left the church myself. I would have left by the time I reached high school if I’d had that option, but in my house, attendance at my cool, hip, contemporary-worshiping, youth-group-glorifying, [Read More…]

Lectionary Hymn of the Week: Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples Text: H. Kenn Carmichael, 1985 Tune: KINGSFOLD Psalm 112:1-9 Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth [Read More…]

A Trained Musician in an Entertainment Church: or, How a Paralegal Became My Boss

Passion Trumps Preparation Writing this blog has put me in touch with many of you who have fallen victim to the commercial Christian worship movement. Faith communities have been ripped apart needlessly. Relationships have been severed. Jobs have been lost after years of faithful service. Trained and experienced musicians have been fired, forced out, let [Read More…]

Pondering the Future of Traditional Worship

I’m happy to report that good church music and thoughtful traditional worship are alive and well in the great state of Wisconsin. I want to send my appreciation to the good folks of the Madison chapter of the Association of Church Musicians for inviting me to share a meal and conversation with them last Friday. [Read More…]

Dear Baylor: How Can You Talk about Football at a Time Like This?

It’s getting increasingly difficult to leave my Baylor diploma hanging in my office. I’m proud of the work I did there, and I’m thankful for the fabulous professors who taught me lessons of music, confidence, and responsibility. But the recent revelations of the culture of violence, fostered by the football team and enabled by the [Read More…]