WARNING: Spoilers of certain films and stories follow.
So tonight is Halloween, or maybe for some of you, time for a church “Harvest Festival.” It’s essentially the same thing. Your kids will eat a year’s worth of candy in one night (unless, of course, you’re one of those boring parents who hands out apples and juice boxes), and everyone will dress up, just as long as there are no bloody Scream masks or witch costumes. Whatever your tradition is on the night of October 31st, the dark, spooky themes of horror films are inescapable this time of year.
What is it that makes ghost stories so much fun? Is it just that they’re scary and suspenseful and make us jump? Or is something deeper going on? What if these eerie tales of things that go bump in the night are actually lifting the veil and shining light on something real and good and true about the world?
Greg LaFollette wants his music not only to be beautiful and true, but to be helpful and useful. Over the past year, he has been writing church music with his own specific congregation in mind; in this endeavor, practicality has become a virtue of his craft right alongside aesthetic nuance. And the result is an album that is truly useful and beautiful, all at once. In fact, he just released it into the world on Friday the 26th. Read on to listen to one of the songs and learn about Greg’s journey towards the unification of utility and art.
Last week one of the dearest saints of our era stepped into the Long Hello. Eugene Peterson, a pastor, teacher, theologian, and writer died after a long illness. Here’s the story from Christianity Today. It draws on a beautiful account by the Peterson family, which reads, in part:
In case Jonny Jimison’s last edition of Rabbit Trails didn’t quite get the point across, click through for its sequel.
It was an idle conversation with an old friend in ministry, essentially. We both spend a fair amount of time at our desks and so we chat most days, mainly about triviality and absurdity. It keeps me going on the days when I don’t actually speak to a soul for hours on end, and I like to think it does him good, too.
[Editor’s note: This year at Hutchmoot, John Cal not only fed us with delicious food; he nourished us with beautiful stories, providing context for each meal and what it meant to him. What follows is the last of his speeches, given on Saturday, October 6th—you can read his first one by clicking here and his second one by clicking here. Enjoy.]
I grew up next door to a family with a willow tree with a swing in their backyard, a family who allowed me to be as one of their own for summer days on end. For years and years, I was as much an O’Connor as their own daughters and son. The two girls, Erin and Cara, were younger than me by a few grades and so I sometimes took a surprising role as leader in our tiny tribe, a space I didn’t often fill as a little girl with a quiet voice and a tender spirit.
[Editor’s note: On the first night of Hutchmoot 2018, Andrew Peterson suddenly took a break from his Resurrection Letters set to deliver a speech. As he made his way through the first few paragraphs, it became clear to everyone that some cherished soul in the room was about to win a very special award. Then, as the context clues came together, it was undoubtable that the recipient would be Ben Shive, seated modestly behind the piano on the far side of the stage.
[Editor’s note: This year at Hutchmoot, John Cal not only fed us with delicious food; he nourished us with beautiful stories, providing context for each meal and what it meant to him. What follows is the second of his three speeches, given two weeks ago today—we posted his first one last week and will be posting the last one next week. Enjoy.]
Good news: Jess Ray is releasing a new album called Parallels & Meridians, and she began with its first single last week. I had the opportunity to talk with her about this record a couple months ago, and I was deeply compelled by the idea behind it—songs that represent lines of communication both horizontal and vertical, between fellow humans and between humanity and God.
Chances are, if you’ve been hanging around the blog, you’ve seen something about our new Podcast Network. Needless to say, we’re elated about this new avenue for sharing meaningful conversations—this network will be home to several promising podcasts, including The Artist’s Creed (bringing creativity into dialogue with the Apostles’ Creed), Read More ›