Three years ago my long time friend Pastor Dan Leman and I sat down to have a long chat about the Church's worship. Dan is the lead pastor of Faith Evangelical Free Church in Germantown Hills, Illinois (http://faithefree.net/). It's taken a while, but I am finally sharing our conversation. The main point of our talk is "What exactly is the point of us meeting together to worship?" We go in-depth into that subject, while also discussing Dan's context as a rural pastor, and whether or not he gets respect being a "young" pastor. Last winter Dan and I had another podcast episode which you can view here. That time the topic was sex...
Stu G became known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the revolutionary worship band Delirious? but after years of touring with other artists and logging lots of time as a studio musician, Stu finally decided to take on a passion project long in gestation: a multimedia work based off of The Beatitudes, the opening words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. It started out as a set of songs but then soon grew into a book and a film, all set in Jesus' bold proclamations of blessing on God's people. So, we're celebrating the 50th episode of PostConsumer Reports Podcast with a landmark episode. I talk with Stu G about the scope of his Beatitudes project as well as about his time in Delirious? You can find out more about the project at Stu G's various websites.
Today's episode features and interview with Doug Chu on multicultural worship, the Asian-American experience, and a segment I like to call "I wish white churches would..." Doug was kind enough to play along. Doug is a musician and worship leader based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a volunteer worship team leader at Madison Square Church's Ford campus. An American-born Chinese, Doug was raised in Singapore. As a worship leader, his interests include multicultural worship for congregations seeking racial reconciliation and the intersection of charismatic and liturgical worship.
Ted Yoder is a recording artist, composer, and hammered dulcimer player. He's released five albums, has another one on the way, and regularly tours the country playing concerts. Ted Gained much acclaimed when his cover version of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" became a Facebook Livestream sensation. I sat down with Ted after his concert at the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival in Morris, Illinois. The beginning of the episode features a brief interview with Peggy Peryam, one of the organizers of the festival and herself a musician, teacher, and dulcimer player. You can find Ted's music and tour dates at: www.tedyoder.com and you can find info about the dulcimer festival at: http://www.gebharddulcimer.org/
Episode 47 features an interview with Dr. Lester Ruth on the history of contemporary worship in the Church. The research professor Christian worship at Duke Divinity School, Dr. Ruth co-authored his new book Lovin' on Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship with Dr. Swee Hong Lim, assistant professor of Sacred Music at Emmanuel College in Toronto. Our interview covers numerous topics related to contemporary worship, including differences how "Mainline" and "Pentecostal" churches do contemporary worship, some of the little known figures in the early contemporary movement, and whether or not we have made music into a sacrament in contemporary worship. You can find Dr. Ruth's personal page here: https://divinity.duke.edu/faculty/lester-ruth
Quinton Thomas is a Peoria, Illinois based artist. His work is a convergence of numerous influences all at once, creating a blossoming artistic vision all his own. Our conversation covers his upcoming show at the gallery Ear in the Envelope, various possible interpretations of his work, and our thoughts on the new TV show Dear White People. You can find images of his work on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Quinton2017/ and on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/Qthomas1990/
Brooks McDaniel is a professor of philosophy and religion, now retired from Illinois Central College. He is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian church (PCUSA) and a writer and poet. Brooks was actually one of my own teachers in college and we sat down to talk about faith, spiritual experiences, and what he would like written in his obituary.
Natalia Villaneuva Linares and Earl Power-Murphy are the founders of Yaku Peoria, an organization intent on restoring the beautiful Hale Memorial Church of Peoria, Illinois and turning it into a center for arts and culture in the city. You can find out more at their website:
http://www.yakupeoria.org/ and read their magazine at: http://www.ukayzine.org/ Natalia is herself and artist whose work you can view extensively here: http://www.nati.work/ Our interview details their ongoing work on the building and where Natalia draws inspiration for her art.
Jimmy Bridgeman is the owner and operator of Rock Solid Studio, a professional Peoria based recording studio. With his business partner Jeremy Moser, Jimmy offers a space that can take an artist through the whole recording process, from recording, producing, mixing, and mastering. In our talk we cover all our mutual friends and acquaintances as well as our mutual love of the iconic Cornerstone Music Festival. You can find out more or even book some studio time at: https://www.therocksolidstudio.com/studio
Alec DeJesus is a Peoria, Illinois based artist. His works seem to come from another time while also drawing from pop culture. They are familiar and otherworldly, earthy and sacred. In our conversation we covered where he draws inspiration for his works and how he has had to work hard and think creatively in order to make a living as an artist. You can find Alec on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/alecdajesus/