Common Hymnal @ Urbana


Common Hymnal @ Urbana


”Common Hymnal created a place of deep healing for people who felt hopeless at the Urbana justice track. They quenched my thirst after being in a dry season of worship. None of the worship songs in church provided the prophetic healing truths I needed to engage a God who witnesses pain in the world. Their music gave me space to wrestle and release my anger and pain to God. This collective sings to power, and reminds us of God's ultimate hope in the midst of injustice and pain.” (Silvia Kim Ah, Urbana Justice Track Leadership Team)

”Scripture invites us to simultaneously pursue justice and righteousness-to live in such a way that provides access to resources and life for all people, and to deepen our life with God and community. It is generally true in our culture that to pursue one is to neglect the other, to only worship and pray but never to act or to act constantly on behalf of the marginalized but have no inner life. Students and staff received a great gift in experiencing worship that looked to Jesus and held the tension of the two. Students in this generation greatly need examples of worship that means something, that doesn’t just sing spiritual platitudes, but that makes sense of their real lived experiences. Some of them experienced that this last week for the first time in the community, music, and presence of Common Hymnal. It was healing, fun, good, and offered a third way, one that doesn’t choose justice or righteousness, but that looks to Jesus and finds both along the way.” (Brandi Miller)

Our trip to Urbana was quick. We were in an out of there in less than 24 hours, but it felt like a lifetime in all the best ways.

St Louis worked for us geographically as we had a decent number of people in our community within a four hour drive. The trip started with a conversation with Brandi in which we volunteered to bring in a few people to do a late night pop up for the students in the Justice Track. Sixteen musicians in our network signed up, and Brandi invited is into the Justice Track to lead some of our songs in a couple of the sessions, including a liturgy of lament. And we still did the pop up - late into the night.

These were our people. We were not there to broaden their horizons, but to offer support and encouragement in the important work that they are doing.

Most fortuitously we were able to get some time with Brandi, with whom we feel a blending of futures. It was fun to nurture this bond.

Malcolm du Plessis

(Visit our Instagram page to catch a snippet of He Has Time, which is releasing on March 15th.)



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