One of the great things about working at COS is that I’m surrounded by people who are leaders in their respective fields. Got a question about philosophy, statistics, or aesthetics? Just ask around at coffee hour and you’ll get an answer from any number of recognized authorities.
So this week, when I saw that Jack would be preaching on “Stewards of Community” from Ephesians 4, I tapped the church’s considerable talent for some help. You see, I’ve written two songs based on that scripture. Both of them lost a contest (but I’m okay with that now…mostly), and then one of them faced some unflattering scrutiny at the Hymn Society conference in Alabama this summer. I sent the latter text to Ron and Deb Rienstra (if you can’t count on people who wrote a book called Worship Words for help with a song, who can you turn to?), my poet friend Martin Cockcroft, and my wife (and favorite writer) Amy to ask for some feedback. I revised verse 3 based on their suggestions, and we sang it this Sunday.
Take a listen to the MP3 or look at the PDF. What I especially like is the way you can hear the congregation gaining steam over the four verses. COS can read a new song like nobody’s business, and you can usually tell by the end of the first reading if they’re befuddled or invigorated. This one seemed to work. It didn’t hurt that the inimitable David Diephouse was at the piano and that at 11am we had a string quartet!
The way this song came together throughout the week is itself a metaphor for the text Jack preached: each of us brings our gifts and shares them freely for the growth and unity of the Body.