The Wrath of God, the PCUSA & a New Hymnal

Why is an evangelical Divinity School Dean and Glenn Beck’s website “The Blaze” writing about God’s wrath and the Presbyterian Church? Answer: copyright law and a decision by our hymnal committee. I guess I’m not surprised that in a news environment itching for the latest click bait, the absence of one hymn in the new Presbyterian Hymnal is being cited as evidence for people’s previously-held theories of the denomination.

What Presbyterians are doing in Pittsburgh

I’m just back from a few days at the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA). Every two years hundreds of Presbyterians meet to fight with one another, debate others’ bad theology, and generally disagree. Oh, and drink scotch. I jest. And yet, General Assembly sometimes feels as exactly this. Even though I attended the assembly […]

Through the Church the Song Goes On: Thank you, John Ferguson

I still remember the first time I heard about St. Olaf College. I was in Montreat, North Carolina at a music and worship conference at which John Ferguson was serving on the faculty. At a dinner, John (who I now know fondly as “Ferg”) suggested I attend St. Olaf College, a small liberal arts college […]

Sacred the Body

I wrote this post for my good friend, Kate Giguere Morris, and her blog Thighs and Offerings, where she embraces questions relating to spirituality, the body, eating disorders, and culture. Sacred the Body Sacred the body God has created, temple of Spirit that dwells deep inside. Cherish each person; nurture creation. Treat flesh as holy, […]

Sing an Old Song to the Lord

Last Sunday night I attended a hymn sing in Montreat. I’m not sure how long these Sunday evening sings have occurred, but they seem quite the tradition. The average age skews fairly high (as does Montreat’s cottager population in general,) but there’s also a good intergenerational mix. As in many “y’all come” hymn sings, those […]

What's so hip about "Guide My Feet"?

The past few days I’ve been meeting with the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song in Louisville.  It’s a formidable but fun group with whom it’s a joy to work. I’ll have a few more reflections going up in the next week or so, but this one I had actually been planning to write for a […]

A week later

It was a joy to attend the first meeting of the Presbyterian Hymnal Committee last week. Strange, I know, “a joy to attend a meeting.”  Truly, though, I had a great time getting to know the other committee members, and getting a better grasp of our task. The Presbyterian News Service has a wee pic from the […]

From the wedding singer: Now the Silence, Then the Glory

  Today marks week two of our road trip, and day two in Kansas City, Kansas (Overland Park, to be precise). We’re enjoying KC, the wedding festivities, and the relative luxuries of the hotel–our Aspen campground didn’t have showers, let alone A/C and an exercise room. At tomorrow’s wedding, I’ll be singing this beautiful and […]