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Earth Walk: A Jazz Concert for Mother Earth

Earth Walk Poster #4So, how can jazz touch the heart and soul of your congregation outside of worship? There are many ways to offer sacred jazz concerts. Whether it’s in the ecumenical spirit or sharing as an inter-faith event, jazz offers a unique opportunity to explore any number of issues that impact communities of faith. If you’re in St. Louis next month come and experience a sacred jazz concert featuring other artists affirming the need to honor the environment, spiritually and physically.

Tim and I offer the following press release and accompanying flyer as examples for publicizing similar sacred jazz concerts at your house of worship.

Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 pm — Earth Walk: A Concert for Mother Earth

Jazz, storytelling, art and dance come together in a creative celebration affirming humanity’s global partnership as caretakers of the earth. The Oîkos Ensemble under the direction of Rev. Cliff Aerie will be joined by painter Michael Anderson and the Leverage Dance Theater. Jazz, dance and painting will combine with Aerie’s earth stories to celebrate the wonders of creation and the challenges of climate change facing the global community.

As Oîkos performs original compositions and jazz standards, acclaimed artist Michael Anderson will spontaneously paint his creative response on canvas. The Leverage Dance Theater under the direction of Director, Diana Barrios will interpret story and music through their unique performance style.

The Oîkos Ensemble ( is a national jazz ministry under the direction of its founder and saxophonist, the Rev. Cliff Aerie. Oîkos features some of St. Louis’ most talented jazz musicians—Carolbeth True (piano), Dave Troncoso (bass), Kevin Gianino (drums), Tim Osiek (trumpet) and featuring vocalists Kim Fuller and Arianna Aerie. Oîkos has performed at more than 300 faith-based communities across the country. Grammy Award winner Paul Winter has said, “I salute Cliff Aerie and the Oîkos Ensemble for their inspired music and mission. They are serving the world with their song.”

Michael Anderson’s ( lengthy career as a designer, illustrator and artist continues to lead him in new artistic directions. His body of work includes murals, paintings and digital art. The inspiration for most of his works is simply the way the light falls upon the earth. Michael is a member of the Missouri Plein Air Painters Association, the St. Louis Artist’s Guild, and Art St. Louis.

Leverage Dance Theater ( under the direction of Diana Barrios, is a modern dance company that has been producing and presenting work in St. Louis for seventeen years. Leverage specializes in using dance and creative movement in non-traditional environments to engage new audiences and invite participants into the artistic process.

A wine and cheese reception will follow with interactive resources provided by the Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center and the Green Team, First Congregational Church’s ecological outreach ministry. The concert is free and open to all. A free-will offering will be received to benefit the work of the Green Team. “Earth Walk” is part of the congregation’s concert series celebrating the church’s 150 Years of service to the community and the world.

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Worship in a New Key — Volume 4 Now Available

63845cb3-51ab-434b-ba8c-975281f75948Volume 4 of Worship in a New KeyHymns of the Spirit: Pentecost and Beyond is now ready for download. Tim and I have been working hard behind the scenes to come up with 12 brand-new arrangements that you can use this Pentecost or for any “spirit-filled” worship service. As always, the hymns we choose are all public domain. You don’t have to worry about copyright issues and we encourage you to make copies of your Worship in a New Key arrangements for your band members. If you like what we’ve created, please spread the word and encourage your music ministry colleagues to download their own copies.

All 12 arrangements are transposed for C, Bb, Eb and Bass Clef instruments. The cost is just $20. Hymns include:

Aberystwyth: Wind that Makes All Winds that Blow

Balm in Gilead: There is a Balm in Gilead

Ebenezer: Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us

Every Time I Feel the Spirit: Every Time I Feel the Spirit

Jefferson: Wake, the Dawn is Now Full Rising

Mercy: Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

Morecambe: Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Munich: On Pentecost They Gathered

Open My Eyes: Open My Eyes That I May See

Pleading Savior: Spirit, Come, Dispel Our Sadness

St Agnes: Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

Trentham: Breathe on Me Breath of God

You’ll notice that we identify each hymn by their traditional tune name as well as the first line hymn names. In the download information we also list many commonly associated hymns using the same hymn tune. The hymns feature a variety of styles—straight ahead, Latin, Dixieland, funk, jazz waltz, etc. We hope you’ll fine these arrangements a great addition to your jazz ministry and make it an important part of your repertoire.