Thursday, November 3, 2011


Synergistic effect: the combining of two things which creates a new thing that is greater than the sum of its parts.

That is what I am expecting to experience next week when the music department and campus ministries join forces for Fall Spiritual Life Week (SLW), “Finding Your Voice,” and a music event “Blended Voices: Music and Worship in the Gospel Tradition.”

Speaker/vocalist and assistant professor of music Crystal Sellers will kick off SLW Sunday night, followed by a week’s worth of special events with special guest Dr. Raymond Wise.

By the weekend, SLW will morph into a music conference. Dr. Wise will continue as guest presenter for a day of workshops, concluding with a combined Gospel choir concert Saturday night. (6 p.m., Founders, free and open to the public. #shamelessPlug)

Because of this collaboration, there have been more people planning for the week. More people vested in its outcome. More people involved. It’s going to be great.

The guiding verse for SLW is Ephesians 5:19b-20:

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
Maybe I can add to this synergy in some small way. While I expect SLW focus will be on “sing and make music” in the guiding verse, I’m drawn to “always giving thanks.”

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a blog post about a “100 Days of Gratitude” experiment where each day the author posted things for which he was thankful, knowing that we typically find that which we seek. "Simply put, the higher your level of gratitude the happier you are in life. The happier you are in life the more things you have to be grateful for. It’s a self-perpetuating energy." 

Knowing I could stand to better my attitude, I started my own 75 Days of Thankfulness. (At that point it was 75 days until New Years.) Earlier this week a high school classmate decided to make thankfulness posts through Thanksgiving. When I shared that with a student in my office, she decided to also express thanks via Facebook this month, and at least one of her friends is doing the same.

You are welcome to join us. Take some time to day to find your voice, blend your voice with those around you and give thanks.

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