Ancient-Future Advent and Christmas Music Trip To Portland

Today I’ll be travelling down to Portland, Maine (with my beautiful family accompanying me) to do a bit of research.

We’ll be taking in the LOVE CAME DOWN Christmas tour with Leeland, Jars Of Clay, Sixpence None The Richer, Sara Groves and others. Then we’ll also be taking in a RENAISSANCE VOICES Christmas concert at the Cathedral Church Of St. Luke.

I’ll do a few posts in the next few days on the following 4 questions related to each event:

What gift does the unique genre of music being played give to the 21st century Christmas/Advent worship experience?

What values drive the making of that kind of worship/artistic music?

What are the stories being told, both in the theological/worldview content of the event, and in the manner in which the material is presented?

What contribution might this form of worship expression give to current and emerging culture, both inside and outside of the Church proper? and

What role do aesthetics, art and creativity play in the creation of liminal (threshold) spaces of worship encounter for those attending?

Hope you can follow along the next few days. I promise the worst of journalism, the best of storytelling, and the most verbose commentary possible.

Off with you now – have you nothing better to do? 😉


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.