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Hymns that make the wideness of God's welcome come to life. Great resource for churches or music for personal spiritual uplift.
75 backers pledged $3,540 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$3,540

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To the Tune of Welcoming God – Hymns for a Church Hungry for Welcome

The Project

Hymns. We learned them growing up in church. Some hymns grew old, tired, stilted after a while. (Some of them felt that way the first time we sang them!) But others … became musical ‘comfort food’ and the wellspring of our faith. They carry us both back in time and forward in faith. At their best, hymns are participatory theology: they allow us to breathe our faith, filling our lungs and inviting God’s Wind to move through our voices as we sing.

Because hymn-singing has such power to shape faith, this Kickstarter Project asks your support in creating an album of new hymn texts that invite us to sing welcome.

These fifteen fresh hymn texts, written by David Weiss and beautifully interpreted by Sara Kay, lift up biblical imagery that helps us see (and sing) how the very biblical themes of welcome and justice extend forward into our contemporary world ... especially as we welcome LGBTQ persons into faith communities. Because each new text is set to a familiar tunes they’re all immediately singable.

Our Hope

Gandhi said we must “be the change we wish to see in the world.” This album can exponentially extend the reach of these hymns, enabling individuals and communities across the country (indeed, across the globe) to “be the change” as they left their voices in song. Once produced, we’ll hold several “launch” parties, and both of us will bring the CD with us whenever we speak or perform. Additionally, it will be available through CD Baby, iTunes, and David’s website.

Singing is peaceful change, softening hearts from the inside. Singing is powerful transformation – strengthening hearts by linking them back to the images that ground our faith. There are many ways to work for change. Few ways spark change so effectively, deeply, and joyfully as song. We hope you will join us in lifting up “the Tune of a Welcoming God.”

Your Help

We’re producing a high-quality, professionally recorded and mastered album on a shoestring budget. Sara and David have donated all their time, and Sara’s father has generously donated his skill as a pianist. A friend of David's designed the CD case. But professional studio time and mastering, as well as actual CD production and promotion cost money. You and your generosity – on any scale – can help “be the change,” too. Our project budget is $3200:

  • $1525 for studio time: recording, mixing, and mastering the CD.
  •   $175 for copyright permissions for music still under license.
  •     $75 for demo CD's (including postage) to secure endorsements.
  • $1100 for the remaining production costs (inserts, jewel case & CD's, CD duplication).
  •   $325 to fulfill rewards and cover the fees associated with running a Kickstarter.

Our Kickstarter Goal is $1066. We're all set to produce CDs once we meet our goal! If we raise one-third of our total budget, we'll borrow the rest and repay it with our first actual sales. And if we surpass our goal, we'll cover more of our budget and know that future sales will help feed our families a bit sooner! 

The Artists

David Weiss – writer, teacher, poet, theologian – is committed to helping communities of faith become welcoming to all persons. An Ally for LGBTQ persons for over twenty years, David teaches and speaks about a faith-based welcome to LGBTQ persons in both church and college settings across the country. A collection of his essays and hymns was published in 2008: To the Tune of a Welcoming God: Lyrical Reflections on Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Wideness of God’s Welcome. (Available at www.tothetune.com – or as one of our Kickstarter Rewards.) His work is both provocative and pastoral, and his words – whether in prose or poetry – speak to hearts and minds in ways that honor both intellect and emotion.

David is married and lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he and his wife, Margaret, have a blended family of five children, five grandchildren, and assorted animals that approximate a peaceable kingdom.

Sara Kay is a singer-songwriter with a passion to make worship relevant, lively, and deeply rooted in God’s passion for justice. With particular interests in jazz and folk music, Sara has performed around the Midwest. In 2011 she released her debut album, “On the Way,” a collection of songs reflecting her own progressive faith and meaningful in worship or for personal listening.  (Available on www.cdbaby.com or through iTunes – or as one of our Kickstarter Rewards.)

Sara is married and lives in Iowa City, with her husband, Brian, and their young son.

David was so pleased to have Sara join him on this project. Besides bringing his words to life with her beautiful vocals, she sings them as someone who understands the words from the inside.

Kudos from those who've heard the demo:

“Beautifully sung, these hymns offer a passionate voice of justice and inclusivity.” ~Marty Haugen, Liturgical Composer & Hymnist with over 400 publications

“A gift to congregations who long for music that expresses the love of a welcoming and gracious God and the dream of a better world to be born.” ~Phil Snider, Pastor, Activist, Author of Toward a Hopeful Future: Why the Emergent Church is Good News for Mainline Congregations

“Just the kind of grassroots creativity that other progressive Christians would do well to imitate—new images for a new era.” ~Christopher Grundy, Singer/Songwriter, Assistant Professor of Preaching & Worship, Eden Theological Seminary

“David Weiss and Sara Kay’s intention is clear: to seed the church with grace.” ~Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, Musician & Liturgical Theologian, Author & Composer for The Psalm Project.

“Always fun to see what happens when a talented wordsmith—indeed a gifted poet and a wonderfully inclusive theologian—breathes new life into old tunes with fresh language, images, and ideas.” ~Bryan Sirchio, Singer/Songwriter & Author of The 6 Marks of Progressive Christian Worship Music

“If you, like me, long to sing on Sunday mornings about our work as people of faith for justice, for GLBT inclusion, for non-violence, for shared abundance, for sustainability—try these songs of David’s. Oh, and the tunes are familiar, so all we need to do is print the words and—ta dah!—instant full throated pew power.” ~Bret Hesla, Singer/Songwriter

“Not thinking the faith, or speaking the faith, or writing books about faith, all of which have been my lot, but singing the faith—that is the surest way to be caught up in what it means to follow in the Way set before us by the life of Jesus.” ~Lee Snook, Professor Emeritus, Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary

Risks and challenges

At this point, so long as we reach our project goal, there are no obstacles in our way. We have all the recording done, the mixing-mastering is complete, and the CD case is designed. Everything is in place – except for the funds. Once our funds are in place, this will happen.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    "Thank You" package: Hand-written thank you note from David Weiss, the author of the songs on the album and the author of the book To The Tune of a Welcoming God.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    "Thank You, Again" package: Hand-written thank you note from David Weiss (author of the songs) and Sara Kay (singer of the songs).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    “The Wait Is Over” package: personally autographed CD delivered to you before the release date of the record. The album will be in your hands before it's available on iTunes!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    “Double Bonus” package: two personally autographed CDs delivered to you before the release date of the record. You and a friend can both have the album before anyone else!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    "Total Package" package: one personally autographed CD and one personally autographed book. You'll have the words and music from the project, To The Tune of a Welcoming God.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    $75 - "Inclusive Theology" package: Personally autographed copy of David Weiss's album To The Tune of a Welcoming God, personally autographed copy of Sara Kay's album On The Way, and personally autographed copy of David Weiss's book The The Tune of a Welcoming God.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    "The Secret" package: Personally autographed copy of David Weiss's album To The Tune of a Welcoming God, personally autographed copy of Sara Kay's album On The Way, and personally autographed copy of David Weiss's book The The Tune of a Welcoming God. PLUS you'll get a hand-written copy of Sara's secret recipe for authentic Italian spaghetti sauce OR a handwritten copy of David's secret recipe for unbelievable vegetarian Sloppy Joes. You pick the recipe, but due to security restrictions, only one secret recipe per gift.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "The Elton John (You can tell everybody this is YOUR song)" package: Personally autographed copy of David Weiss's album, To The The Tune of a Welcoming God. PLUS Sara Kay will write a song based on any theme or Scripture you choose. As part of this amazing package, she will give you the hand-written original lyrics and a CD with the recorded song. Note this estimated delivery date allows Sara a little extra time to write the song!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    "Live and In Person" package: David Weiss and Sara Kay will come to your church, organization, or home to share in a special event about the wideness of God's welcome. David will share his prophetic words and Sara will share her spiritual music. This package will be a fun time for everyone involved. Due to travel restrictions, this offer is only valid in the states of MN, IA, or WI. This delivery date is negotiable (based on our schedules and yours); even if the event happens later than August, we'll have it scheduled by then.

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Funding period

- (41 days)