- An, “I support and am interested in being a part of this community” type response to the original email — see below [attached] — was received from: Dr. Albert Norwood, Pat Davis, The Rt. Rev. Doc Loomis, and Ellen Loomis. Thank you.
- I received suggested additions to the community: Dwayne Wilson, Barbara Swigart, Barbara Landry, and Pastor Tim
- The Rt. Rev. Doc Loomis has a (not so secret) talent for graphic design and has provided me with a few great suggestions for a logo.
In the mean time, I would love to build a much larger email list of musical moles [men or ladies – engaged spiritually] — hmmm,.. tried to do something creative there, but was actually just recalling a children’s book about a musical mole family, which I read to my children. Anyway — I would greatly appreciate your networking assistance at this point in our journey. The next time you [non-responders] hear from me, I will be inviting you to a May gathering. It will be a worship and fellowship oriented musical exploration. Looking forward to stepping into a wonderful season time with you.
- ecumenical, rich, diverse, supportive
- prayerfully seeking to maximize congregational engagement and participation in musical worship
- focused on exploring use(s) of music in worship — worship done in spirit and in truth
- actively learning, teaching, disciplining, and developing talent
- gathering monthly for about 1.5 hours – fellowship, breaking bread together, teaching/presentation, short time of worship
- developing resources and collaboration with projects, — such as musical mission, collaborative song writing, community events/revival/concert/…musical assist teams for church plants
- moving venue/host/leaders for each monthly gathering — emphasizing support for all churches represented and ideally equalizing travel time; this also allows exploration of different acoustic spaces!
A short time ago I posted a draft timeline for getting this Sound Worship community group off the ground – https://jedward706.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/sound-worship/
Since last summer (2015) I have been prodded by the Holy Spirit and have floated balloons about getting together with Christian musicians and worship leaders in my community to study, fellowship, create, play and ultimately give Glory to God and worship Him more effectively through music. There is a unifying aspect to the gift of music, as well as an incredible ability for it to reach deep into our souls and touch us intimately at emotional and spiritual levels often unreachable in other ways. Exploring this with like minded people, as the Right Reverend Doc Loomis says, is one primary piece of a vision for pursuing the formation of the Sound Worship community group. In delineating the vision a bit more, I would add, active worship in spirit and in truth, teaching and disciplining, and spreading the wisdom this ecumenical group gains far and wide.
- Feb. 21st: Core group of 4-12 musicians contacted, briefed, and tasked [appropriately based on gifts/aptitude/passion]
- March 6th: Vision [written, ready to publish/broadcast], logo [designed], email list initiated [mail chimp? Google group? …consistent, shareable, expandable, “format” established], first venue for first gathering [secured, scheduled] , and outline for or “order of service” established — what will the meetings look like?
- March 20th: Invitations sent for first gathering
- March 27th: First event presentation and logistics — food, sound system, seating, meeting space set up — Online presence development with sharing of products — new songs, collaborative creative effort begun
- April 10th: Follow up invitations with full detail
- April 17th: Second event planning underway — leader and co-leader designated, location/space hunt underway
- Early May — @ consistent monthly day and time Sound Worship Launched
After a couple posts about the brokenness I am seeing in public education, which do not even begin to fully capture the extent and scope, nor do they do justice to the many dedicated professionals in the business, who strive daily for academic excellence, loving and supporting all students to the best of their ability, I will been a series outlining a generally discarded notion that a solid, biblical, Christian worldview contains solutions and healing for the brokenness.
Purpose of Education
Consider the implicit, if not explicitly stated, purpose of public education. What I am hearing from administrators and even from most public school teachers is that the purpose of education is to “get good grades, so you have opportunities to get into college, and can get a better job to make more money”. This can be seen as a rather communistic view point; produce good workers for the good of society and to improve the economy. Neil Postman addresses the lack of a legitimate motivating purpose or narrative, and offers some alternatives, in his book The End of Education.
The consequences of this “better job, more money, better economy” narrative can be seen throughout the system. One quick example is that high schools, at least in NC, are evaluated on criteria such as percentage of students graduating with “math rigor”, which translates into a forced march for many students into Integrated Math 3 [which is similar to Algebra 2 with the proof portion of geometry and a bit of statistics]. Many of the students in my regular Math 3 courses have not even passed the prerequisite course, Math 2, and are either taking Math 2 concurrently in an online “credit recovery” class or have been promised that they would get credit for Math 2 if they pass Math 3. The bottom line here is that a significant number of my students, who have no aptitude for rigorous mathematics or STEM field pursuits, and would be better served (IMHO), taking business mathematics, accounting, applied vocational mathematics courses or coding [as a short list of examples], are forced into college preparatory math courses for which they are woefully under prepared and in which they have no interest. Why? Because all paths in the high school now lead to either community college or university. Strong vocational and trade programs seem to be a thing of the past. Is it any wonder that the “free college tuition” mantra has been taken up by many. Students are being told that “success” means going to college. Meanwhile, it seems more and more difficult to find skilled tradesmen [general term — not meant to be gender specific]. Of course, what could be wrong with pushing all students through slightly higher levels of mathematics then the typical Algebra 1 level which was a generally accepted minimum standard a few decades ago? I am addressing this by beginning to write a comprehensive K-12 mathematics curriculum. Beginning with middle and high school specifics, while outlining ideas for elementary levels, I will be putting together documents over the next year. Stay tuned.
Contrast this with a Christian worldview, which provides a narrative, which is very different. We are all called to glorify God, who is our creator, the creator of the universe, the very essence and definition of love, who is infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, the Truth, our Savior and Lord. He is worthy of study and has revealed Himself in the Scriptures [reading and writing – as “people of the Word”, is pretty important], as well as in His creation [science is another way to understand our Creator — and we are to be good stewards of His creation]. Being created in His image, we also create and invent and express our praise through arts and seek to develop God given talents and gifts in order to serve others in love as modeled by Jesus Christ. To better serve and love one another, it is important to understand history, culture, psychology, anthropology, and social sciences. There is a richness, excitement, and depth to the purpose of education from a Christian worldview, that seems totally absent from the public square, where Christian educators are essentially told to keep their religion and bible and primary reason for teaching to themselves.
So, I feel like this is just a teaser and I am running out of time today to more fully flesh out this first path to healing post. To be continued…