The SPIRE – May 2017

May flowers (it’s a verb)! May bursts on the scene with an abundance of color. The variety of flowers popping up, the trees and flowering shrubs, the colorful clothes and regalia of graduations, and the living-color feeling that imbues your senses during the first walk in shorts on a sunny afternoon, the first outdoor ice cream of the year, or the first night sleeping with open windows.

May flowers and once again the season screams fertility, nature proclaims its power to generate and regenerate bloom after bloom. This is the time of year when possibilities are plentiful: the season of Eastertide, from Easter Sunday to Pentetcost.

An Introduction to Spirituals, Part 2

Did you miss Part 1? Read it here!   Our experience of Spirituals today is as fully accompanied songs or choral arrangements. A large part of their effectiveness comes from the accompaniments created by the original arrangers, working a generation or two after the end of slavery. Two of the most prominent arrangers were William […]

An Introduction to Spirituals, Part 1

At every church I’ve served, I always devote the month of February to African American Spirituals. These songs have a power that goes well beyond their beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics. They are songs of despair, protest, and hope from an enslaved people, and they are a stark reminder of an ugly chapter in our […]