We had our Middle District Minister’s Appeciation Banquet tonight; a good meal, nice company. It’s a yearly event designed to honor “Ministers and their spouses”, which is awkward. Being that I don’t have a spouse. But I go anyway.
Our small denominational group is chugging into the new cultural context in some surprising ways. Tonight, the surprise was a great – in fact, a marvelous – blessing. Jim Hamacher, the Executive Director and event planner, brought in a guest artist for the evening. He did a great job talking her up; frankly, I figured the hyperbole was a bit much.
Turns out the man knew exactly what he was doing. I found it a bit risky – which I respect and admire – and in terms of an artistic and meaingful experience, he nailed it.
Actually, I should say she nailed it. Tonight was my second exposure to Kate Campbell; I’d heard a song on NPR some years ago and remembered it only when she sang the first line tonight. I didn’t realize I’d ever heard her before. We sat together for dinner and chatted. She took the stage and her guitar and told us some incredible stories, woven in and around beautiful, poignant melodies. There’s something wistful about the tales she tells, of road signs in small town America, elderly black church custodians and some spiritual longings.
What a night. And what an unexpected treat, to be deeply and richly moved by a secular market folksinger at a local meeting of Baptist church ministers.
God never ceases to to amaze me.
Here’s a taste of Kate Campbell. I purchased just one starter cd; I’ll be soaking in it for a few days. You can check her out here, and she’s got a lot of stuff on iTunes.