By. Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan

Jack SullivanJust caught Peter and Paul, of the famed freedom and justice singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary, on the Tavis Smiley show. Goodness, they were magnificent! It was quite good to hear them sing some of the folk songs of the Civil Rights movement while describing the climate surrounding their music and activism. They have a book out titled, “Peter, Paul and Mary: 50 Years in Life and Song”. As I heard their music and reflections, I became inspired by the fact that the sacred work of Civil Rights and freedom has always featured a multicultural, multifaith cast of bold, risk-taking, visionary people who had the audacity to sing their faith and convictions as they delivered truth to power. While our contemporary climate does reveal amazing levels of progress since the 1960s, the rivers and streams of everyday life continue to reveal toxic amounts of waste products such as hate, bigotry, violence, and discrimination of many forms that poison too many of our environments, physical, political and cultural. I am not altogether sure of the many songs we sing when we gather nowadays, but I sure think it is time for our music to recapture the passion and poetry of the songs of people like Peter, Paul and Mary, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and so many others who sang about freedom, justice and peace and therefore provided us with a soundtrack for social progress. During a contemporary era where large segments of society seem to congratulate themselves for not knowing or accepting the histories, values, and aspirations of people who differ from themselves, we need right brain inspiration that can liberate us from the prisons of our linear, individualism-colored world views so that we may actually see ourselves caring for our neighbors by acknowledging then dismantling walls and systems of nullification and selective privilege, by helping each other to succeed, and by learning each other’s story. Now is the time for music that teaches us, transforms us, and then transports us so that we may create earthly places where the long dictatorship of fear comes to an end, where a warm smile can melt glaciers of arrogance, and where people are willing to walk or roll hand-in-hand into a future punctuated by peace, with progress for everybody, and the trivialization of nobody. When we sing songs with these kinds of themes, we open ourselves to God’s still awesome ability to transform the world. I am ready to sing! How about you?

by Dean McIntyre

ImageCounting down the top ten myths, false beliefs, and misperceptions about church music copyright, none of which are true. For more help, see the  Copyright and Licensing sectionof the GBOD website.

10. We want only to copy or project the words.
It’s just so the kids in the youth choir will have the words.

9. We’re not going to sell the copies.

8. We don’t have the money to purchase copies.

7. It’s from our own denominational hymnal.

6. We’re a church and want to use it in our worship services.

5. It’s Fair Use.

4. It’s for educational purposes.
 We’re a Sunday School class and want to study this hymn in our class.

3. It’s a one-time use only.

2. It’s for the Lord’s work.

1. We have a CCLI (or other) license.

Original article can be found at http://www.gbod.org/lead-your-church/copyright-licensing/resource/copyright-101-top-ten-false-copyright-myths-usa-only

Christmas Worship Invitation