A Blessed Way to Start the Year

Happy New Year!

Yesterday, we brought in 2010 in the best way I could imagine. My friend Doc Possom–the same fellow who said of me, “Although he’s a Reverend, he’s not very churchy”–and his lovely wife opened their home for a benefit brunch. NESCO (Near East Side Community Organization) was raising money and supplies for the Duvall Center, a work-release center in the neighborhood.

From where I stood, it looked like the benefit was a success.  Lots of folks participated, bringing cash, stamps and supplies for the men at Duvall. We met a man who introduced himself as a graduate of Duvall. The company was upbeat, and the food was delicious.

But the best part for me was the living room. You hear Emmylou Harris talk about the living room on the second edition of Will the Circle Be Unbroken. The best musical moments happen in the living room, and the same was true for me yesterday.

My friends Holly and Rick of Patchwork were there, and the musical fun we have steps up to a whole new level in a living room. The Duvall graduate had a beautiful tenor voice, and he, Rick and I knew a lot of the same selections from the hymn book. The group’s rendition of Amazing Grace was memorable, as were Holly’s impromptu fiddle lessons.

Then Eli Beth and daughter Sarah arrived. When Eli and I play together, something wonderful always happens. Sarah’s singing of the Judds’ song, Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days), got me choked up to where I couldn’t get the harmony out on one chorus.

Talk about your good days. I got to play with so many of my favorite people to bring in a new year, in a warm and welcoming home with friends old and new gathered around. For me, that’s the fundamental of music. It’s about community and shared experience. Music helps us realize that, in spite of it all, there’s still a lot of good in the world, and a lot of that good lies in the connections we share. Music lifts that up.

Yes, it was a blessed way for me to start 2010, and I wish for you a new year filled with blessings of peace, joy and wonderful surprise.  With appreciation for your support, I remain

Sincerely yours,

February 6 and 7
Monticello Christian Church
1002 S. Airport Rd.
Monticello, Ind.
On Saturday evening, the church is hosting a coffee house in the fellowship hall. I’ll play from 7:00 until 8:00.  Then on Sunday, I get to sing during each of the three worship services at the church, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:30. Google Maps puts the church on Airport Road. The church web site shows a Gordon Street address.  The church is on the corner.