Through the holiday season, Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians CD will be offered at a discount price of $4.95 (originally $9.95).
The 21 hymns recorded on this CD are selected from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians. These hymns inspire justice and peacemaking. They empower women, men, and children of all races to become all they are created to be in the divine image. The wide variety of biblical divine names and images in these hymns will contribute to belief in the sacredness of all people and all creation. Peace and justice flow from this belief. These hymns draw from the prophetic, liberating tradition in Scripture. Many of the hymns are appropriate for interfaith settings. Most of the hymns are set to widely-known tunes, many with fresh arrangements. For this discount on the CD, contact: http://www.jannaldredgeclanton.com/email_form.php
Why sing hymns with inclusive language and imagery?
Words we sing matter. Words we use in worship have great power because of the sacred value given to them. Words we sing in worship have the greatest power to shape our beliefs and actions because the music embeds the words in our memories. We can make a big difference for peace, justice, and liberation in our world through the words we sing.
Jim Taylor, author of many books and publisher of theological journals, in a blog article entitled “Visitors that Sneak in by the Back Door” writes these comments on the power of the words we sing: “Someone wise said once that if you want to know what people believe, don’t listen to what they say; listen to what they sing. Sermons enter our minds through the front door. We can let those words in, like visitors. We entertain them for a while; then we can send them away again. Or perhaps we keep that door shut, as we might for a pesky door-to-door sales rep. But music slips in through the back door. We don’t even realize it’s wandering around inside our minds until it has already made itself at home. Ideas that come in through the back door are much harder to evict. Especially when they’re accompanied—as they often are—by a catchy melody. The music turns into an earworm—you find yourself singing along while you do the laundry, mow the lawn, drive down the highway. And each time, the unnoticed message burrows more deeply into your subconscious. . . . There are some hymns that I no longer enjoy singing. The words offend me. I can sing them as historical artifacts. But I feel as uncomfortable belting them out as I would signing a petition in favor of child pornography.” For the rest of Taylor’s incisive article, see: http://edges.canadahomepage.net/?s=Visitors+that+Sneak+in+by+the+Back+Door
Most songs in faith communities and in the culture at large support male dominance through exclusively masculine divine names and imagery. Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians CD and hymnbook balance female and male divine names and imagery to support equality, justice, and peace.
All the language in these hymns is inclusive for humanity and divinity. They include sisters as well as brothers, and use gender-balanced divine names, such as “Mother-Father,” “Sister-Brother,” and “Christ-Sophia” to symbolize partnership and equality in all relationships. Some of the hymns resurrect biblical female names for Deity, such as Sophia (Greek word for “Wisdom,” linked to Christ in the Christian Scriptures) and Ruah (word for “Spirit” in the Hebrew Scriptures). Including female divine names in worship is vital to the revaluing of the feminine so that women and girls no longer experience exclusion and abuse but may experience true equality and respect. See http://www.jannaldredgeclanton.com/main1.php.
Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians CD and hymnbook also contribute to racial justice by changing the traditional symbolism of darkness as evil or ominous. These hymns affirm the sacred value of people of color by giving positive meanings to images of darkness. These hymns symbolize darkness as creative bounty and beauty. For example, “O Holy Darkness, Loving Womb” images darkness as a sacred well of richest beauty.
The songs we sing can empower us to take prophetic action on gender, race, interfaith cooperation, sexual orientation, ecology, and other social justice issues. Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians CD comes with the invitation to join in singing justice and peace and liberation into reality.
Collaboration in Hymnwriting
It was a joy to collaborate with composer Larry E. Schultz on this CD. For some of the hymns in this CD Larry wrote fresh arrangements of traditional tunes. For other hymns he has composed original, vibrant music that complements my lyrics. Larry is also an accomplished, published text writer. On this CD you will hear some of Larry’s creative texts. Larry and I have also collaborated on Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians; Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice; Imagine God! A Children’s Musical Exploring and Expressing Images of God; Sing and Dance and Play with Joy! Inclusive Songs for Young Children; and some anthems.
Rev. Larry E. Schultz is currently Minister of Music for Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Larry is a widely published, award-winning composer of congregational hymns, choral, and instrumental music. To read Larry’s story on this blog, see: http://jannaldredgeclanton.com/blog/?p=319 You will find a longer version of his story in this book: https://wipfandstock.com/store/Changing_Church_Stories_of_Liberating_Ministers. For a list of compositions by Larry E. Schultz, see: http://www.choristersguild.org/CustomContentRetrieve.aspx?ID=1238512&A=SearchResult&SearchID=1170147&ObjectID=1238512&ObjectType=35.
This Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians CD was recorded in the sanctuary of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Ward Productions. Conductor: Larry E. Schultz; Organist: Bo Lloyd; Pianists: Ruth Pardue and Cindy Schultz; Instrumentalists: The Pullen Orchestra; Singers: The Congregation, Chancel Choir, Youth Choir, and Children’s Choir of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.