Music Is Connection

Music is connection. Whether we’re sharing a song together, singing the songs of our
ancestors or other communities, or crafting a solitary creation, music allows us to see
deeper, feel more, and open ourselves to connecting with one another. This past
weekend we celebrated Independence Day and the gifts of compassion and
democracy. Participating in the collaborative process of preparing for a worship service
is always a delight; I particularly enjoy engaging with musicians and worship leaders in
selecting music whenever I have the opportunity. I think it is important to both celebrate
Independence Day and avoid succumbing to jingoistic blind patriotism. The gift of
democracy was hard-won and continues to be a struggle for marginalized individuals
and communities to this day.
My gift of compassion is to present a both/and view of democracy. We can celebrate
what we have achieved, remember that all our forebears had different experiences and
times in which democracy was achieved in name if not in full reality, and dream of a
better future. Our set list for Sunday, July 7 th was:

16 ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple

131 Love will Guide Us

146 Soon the Day Will Arrive

149 Lift Every Voice and Sing

155 Circle ‘Round for Freedom

346 Come, Sing a Song with Me

You probably know most, if not all, of these tunes. Whether you learned the shaker
melody of ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple or Lift Every Voice and Sing in school or you have
heard Love Will Guide Us and Come, Sing a Song with Me in services here at UUCG,
there is comfort in familiarity. We had a different arrangement of ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple
as the anthem in a recent service. I enjoy observing connections between worship
services and seek to include them both for those who may have missed the original
message and to build on what has come.

My hope for all of us is that we can celebrate our achievements in democracy and
compassion, never forget that these gifts are fragile or that they are not universal, and
that we can continue to take steps to live our values to help those who yearn for
beloved community and a better tomorrow.

~Ian Van Sice

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1 Response to Music Is Connection

  1. Lisa says:

    I love your perspective here. I thought the music choices for Sunday were excellent. You are so right: democracy is hard won. Thank you for a thought provoking reflection!

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