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Music Highlight

Spotlight on Music at St. John’s – February 2024

By February 22, 2024No Comments

In the opening pages of his book “The Creative Act: A Way of Being”, celebrated record producer Rick Rubin writes:

Everyone is a Creator. Those who do not engage in the traditional arts might be wary of calling themselves artists. They might perceive creativity as something extraordinary or beyond their capabilities, A calling for the special few who are born with these gifts.

Fortunately, this is not the case.

Creativity is not a rare ability. It is not difficult to access. Creativity is a fundamental aspect of being human. It’s our birthright. And it’s for all of us.

Creativity doesn’t exclusively relate to making art. We all engage in this act on a daily basis.

To create is to bring something into existence that wasn’t there before. It could be a conversation, the solution to a problem, a note to a friend, the rearrangement of furniture in a room, a new route home to avoid a traffic jam.

What we make doesn’t have to be witnessed, recorded, sold, or encased in glass for it to be a work of art. Through the ordinary state of being, we’re already creators in the most profound way, creating our experience of reality and composing the world we perceive.

Regardless of whether or not we’re making formal art, we are all living as artists. We perceive, filter, and collect data, then curate an experience for ourselves based on this information set. Whether we do this consciously or unconsciously, by the mere fact of being alive, we are active participants in the ongoing process of creation.

To live as an artist is a way of being in the world. A way of perceiving. A practice of paying attention. Refining our sensitivity to tune in to the more subtle notes. Looking for what draws us in and what pushes us away. Noticing what feeling tones arise and where they lead.

Attuned choice by attuned choice, your entire life is a form of self-expression. You exist as a creative being in a creative universe. A singular work of art. 1

In our work together at St. John’s Wendy and I see the creative spark at work (and play) in every part of music ministry at St. John’s. Each singer, ringer, and instrumentalist shining examples of practicing a creative way of being. But nowhere more profoundly than in the youngest musicians we serve. These little ones who see the world through uncorrupted, innocent eyes may be the freest and most receptive vessels of inspiration.

As each musician grows and develops, those that manage to preserve these childlike qualities of curiosity and exploration are the same musicians that find a way to express their joys and sorrows and ultimately their shared humanity through their music and elsewhere. This kind of music making can heal the world. It can heal me, you, and everything it touches.

This kind of music grows in the gardens of St. John’s hearts and souls. It inspires and steadies us in the uncertainties that surround us. It enlivens and encourages us as we look to the future and the hope of a brighter tomorrow. It’s a beacon on a hill and an inner flame that cannot be extinguished.

I’ve said before, the mission of music ministry at St. John’s Linden Hills is to facilitate and nurture participation in worship and in our common life together through music, inspiring vital community song, enhancing and amplifying the beauty of holiness, and growing the community of faith in solidarity and commitment.

Children’s Choirs, Chime Choir, Sunday Service Choir, Festival Choir, and Friday Open Mic nights are all welcome places and artistic sandboxes for you to explore and express your God-given creativity.

See you soon,

Chad

For more information or questions about Music Ministry at St. John’s, please contact:

Wendy Smith, Children’s Choir Director (wendyparquettesmith@yahoo.com)

Chad Smith, Minister of Music (chad@stjohns-mpls.org)

 

1 Rick Rubin, with Neil Strauss, The Creative Act: A Way of Being (New York: Penguin, 2023), 1-3.