Posts Tagged Food For The Hungry
This weekend, I have the rare privileged to take the New City Fellowship show on the road. A few of my NCF team members, Jesse Heirendt and Joshua Saleem, and I are flying to Phoenix this week to lead worship music for an event hosted by Food For The Hungry. I am super excited about being involved in this event because FH is an organization that is walking out the kingdom in real tangible acts of justice and mercy. This weekend is a special conference for folks who are being invited into the vision of FH in order to become partners with them financially and spiritually.
Nathan Corbitt wrote a book called “The Sound of the Harvest” . The title refers to a story he tells about visiting a region that was suffering in a famine. When he asked a local friend if there was music being made this year, the man responded, “Bila mavuno hakuna kuimba” or “Without a harvest, there is no singing.” This reflects the same meaning as Psalm 137 in which the artists in oppressive captivity hung their harps from the trees instead of using them to rejoice. Food for the Hungry’s mission statement reveals that they are about more than charity for the sake of easing our Western guilt. They are about restoring communities to a state of balance with nature and with God in which their hearts and bodies are restored to their intended pre-fall condition. This act of restoration brings with it “the sound of the harvest” when new songs and new forms of worship are born.
It will be a lot of fun to travel and to participate in this event, but it’s also taking me out of my comfort zones. Instead of our usual 10-piece bands at NCF, we will be limited to a trio. I’ve also experienced a type of spiritual oppression leading up to this event in which my character, my experience, and my standing in Christ have been attacked by my flesh and the accusations of the enemy. I’ve shared in the past about the kind of spiritual warfare that can be involved with crossing into unfamiliar territory, and so if you are reading this, please take a moment to pray for me and my friends as we put our faith into practice this week.
The fall season for many of us becomes more and more like a flume ride. We spend September and October in a slow ascent with a feeling that’s somewhere between excitement and dread as we anticipate the events on the horizon. Soon, we come over the crest and find our lives becoming a crazy blur of screaming joy and nausea. Next thing we know, it’s January and we’re left feeling a little cold and wet with the entire holiday season nothing more than a SD card full of crowded and poorly lit jpegs. Personally, I’m about the round the crest this weekend, so I’m not having fun yet. However, despite my melancholic remarks, here’s some stuff that I’m genuinely looking forward to:
Thanksgiving in Tennessee
We’re doing “Turkey Day” in the land of the Moonpie this year. I’m looking forward to talking shop with my dad, having a snackdown with my sister and kin, and getting together with old friends in order to have interactions that are more meaningful then liking their status. Maybe I’ll take my kids to the new Muppets flick.
Youth Sunday – November 27
The New City Fellowship youth band is going to take the role of worship music leadership for weekend. I love youth Sunday for the way it brings a sense of worship being the shared experience of an individual expression. In other words, people give the youth a lot of room to express their faith in worship without the usual constraints. It’s an experiment in cross-cultural ministry as we allow the young and powerless to lead those of us who usually hold the reigns in the church. (November 27 is also my wife’s birthday!)
The First Ever NCF Christmas Concert! – December 10
The NCF Choir will get to make a little more joyful noise this Advent with this new Saturday night event. We will share some familiar classics as well as some new classics. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate together the wonderful expressions of music that have become such a meaningful part of Advent for the church. The NCF Choir continues to come into it’s own as a ministry that both nourishes the participants and the church on an almost weekly basis.
Reconciliation and Justice Conference 2012 – January 24-25
We will be once again hosting this special meeting of pastors and ministry leaders from around the US to have a dialogue about the issues of reconciliation and justice within our denomination. I’m going to be there leading some of the worship. You can register here.
7th annual NCF Black History Celebration – February 25
This had been the highlight of the year for our music ministry for a long time, but now, it’s only been diminished by the abundance of exciting things happening all year long for us. We expect this year’s BHC to continue the tradition of celebrating the gospel of Jesus Christ through the unique expressions of Black Culture.
Food For The Hungry – March 15-18
I’ll be in Phoenix in March 2012 leading worship at a special fundraiser weekend for the ministry Food For The Hungry. This is an exciting opportunity to participate in a ministry that I can <pun> really sink my teeth into</pun>.
New City Music 2012 Conference
I just published this post and then realized that I failed to say anything about the 2012 NCMC! This summer’s music conference will be hosted by my church again. With the search on for a new senior pastor, the folks in Chattanooga decided to take another year off. The dates will be August 1-3. I don’t really have much more to say about it than that. I’m currently looking for ideas for speakers, musicians, and clinics to feature, so give me any you have that come to mind.