Rev. Larry E. Schultz conducts the Chancel Choir, orchestra, and congregation of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina, in singing “Sister Spirit, Brother Spirit” to music he composed, with pictures from various artists.
This hymn was one of the first in my collaboration with composer and minister of music Larry E. Schultz. Larry wrote the fresh, vibrant tune for this hymn and named the tune “Spirit Dance.” Larry and I believe that Sister-Brother Spirit brought us together in creative collaboration. We have since collaborated on two hymnbooks, Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians and 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 many anthems.
The central divine image in this hymn is “Spirit.” The Hebrew word for “Spirit,” Ruah, comes at the beginning of the Genesis account of creation. “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit (Ruah) was moving over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2). The Hebrew word for “Spirit” (Ruah) is feminine in form. Ruah moved over the waters to bring forth all life. The Greek word for “Spirit” in the Christian Scriptures is Pneuma, neuter in form, and is also associated with giving life.
People of all genders and races are created in the image of the Divine, and all have the Divine Spirit living within. In this hymn the Spirit is named and pictured as Sister and Brother, She and He, to convey this truth that all are created equally in the divine image. When all join together as equals, justice and peace blossom in the world. This video invites hope of peace, justice, wholeness, freedom, and new life.Sister Spirit moves around us; Brother Spirit joins in love; She and He together dancing, crowned with holy Heavenly Dove. May we join this dance of freedom, making heaven and earth anew; all our gifts will blossom fully as our dreams come into view. Brother Spirit calls us forward; Sister Spirit points the way; He and She together clear a path into a better day. May we walk this path of justice, breaking down each wall of fear, faithful to our sacred calling so that Good News all may hear. Sister Spirit gives us power; Brother Spirit ends all strife; She and He together lead us to a spring of flowing life. May we drink this gift of healing from a Giver wise and true; now our voices join in shouting, “Come and see all things made new!”
Words © Jann Aldredge-Clanton Music © Larry E. Schultz SPIRIT DANCE 18.104.22.168 D
from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians (Eakin Press, 2006). Recording © Jann Aldredge-Clanton & Larry E. Schultz, from Inclusive Hymns for Liberating Christians CD (Eakin Press, 2007).
Performed by: Chancel Choir, Orchestra, & Congregation of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, North Carolina (http://www.pullen.org/). Conductor: Rev. Larry E. Schultz
David Clanton: photos of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Chancel Choir, Orchestra, & Congregation, and dancing children © David M. Clanton. Used with permission. http://www.davidclanton.com/; http://david-clanton.artistwebsites.com/
Lucy A. Synk: “Ruach” © Lucy A. Synk. Used with permission. http://lucysynkfantasyart.com/print_gallery
Hartwig Kopp-Delaney: “His Hand” © Hartwig Kopp-Delaney. http://www.koppdelaney.de/koppdelaney.de/Willkommen.html
Josephine Wall: “Freedom” © Josephine Wall. http://www.josephinewall.co.uk
Recorded by: Ward Productions, Pinehurst, North Carolina