To the Tune of Welcoming God – Hymns for a Church Hungry for Welcome
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.
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.”
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!
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (41 days)