Music & Worship Arts

By now you are probably asking where your Minister of Music and Worship Arts (and his wife) was for the month of May and that would be a fair question. Well, getting married, moving all our earthly possessions to San Antonio, and going on our honeymoon to Scotland took up a bit of our time! With all of this transition, Sarah and I cannot express our gratitude enough for the way that this congregation has supported us in these first few weeks of marriage and allowed us to go on this once-in-a-lifetime excursion to some of my favorite places on the planet.

One of those special places is Iona Abbey. The Abbey, built in the 13th century and rebuilt during the 20th century, sits on the Isle of Iona, a one mile wide and three mile long island in the inner Hebrides, of the west coast of Scotland. During the summer of 2013 I spent eight weeks working and worshipping alongside Christians from around the globe at Iona Abbey as a volunteer with the Iona Community, an ecumenical Christian organization. Each week Christians come on pilgrimage from all over the globe and gather to worship with one another in morning and evening services at the Abbey, share fellowship during meals around the table, and to see one of the most important sights of Celtic Christianity. For it was on Iona in 563AD that St. Columba is said to have landed, established his monastery, and helped to bring Christianity to Scotland.

My time at Iona in 2013 was deeply influential for me and my understanding of how worship forms and informs our theology, as well as challenges us. It was also a time of deep healing that came exactly when I thought I couldn’t go on another day. Without the experience God provided for me at Iona, I can say that I certainly wouldn’t be as effective in my ministry or perhaps even in ministry at all. I hope to be able to share more about this important location for Christian history and the work of the current day Iona Community as they work for worship renewal and social justice. I also hope that I might one day make the pilgrimage to Iona with many of you so that we might share together in what God has done and is doing!