Let my prayers rise - redux...

Let my try to amplify something I wrote yesterday re: taking music-making-for-compassion out
into the community. Over the past 8 years our faith community has radically opened our sacred space for justice and peace work in the Berkshires. In partnership with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, we have hosted "Beats 4 BEAT" - a rock and roll show - devoted to fundraising and consciousness raising. We have hosted a LGBTQ teen dance and partnered with our inter-faith coalition for a variety of jazz/folk/rock concerts to purchase fuel assistance for our neighbors in need during our bitter winters. And we've created experimental contemplative liturgies for both Good Friday and Christmas Eve that use jazz and/or rock to express the call to justice in both these ancient rites. In a word, we've found new/old ways to use our existing space to advance the work of healing in the Spirit of the Lord and welcome those who might not otherwise enter a church.

What I am eager to explore now, however, is another parallel approach that takes this music-making beyond our walls and into the home base of our allies. I clearly don't have all the answers about what this means - it is an idea searching for depth and clarity - but I think it includes:  1) meeting in places beyond our sanctuary; 2) presenting a time of music, poetry and conversation; 3) sharing a meal; and 4) closing with a ritual of accountability. What would it mean, for example, if on a regular basis our music team - and support crew - shared this format in an inter-faith setting? With time for conversation, questions and uncertainty? What would it mean to organize and host an inter-faith, multi-ethnic music festival for our region at a time when so many white Americans are finally willing to explore racism? What does it mean to let music - rather than spoken/written words - serve as the common denominator in pursuit of peace and justice?

I don't know - but I want to find out. And I think that this means moving beyond our Sanctuary while continuing to use it as a home base.  


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