Stillhouse Shakers at Lakewood UCC

Don’t like loud bars, busy festivals or crowded restaurants? Then join us at the Lakewood United Church of Christ, in St. Petersburg, FL, for a family friendly evening filled with the sounds of old time string band music by the Stillhouse Shakers, Friday, January 11, 2019 at 7 PM!

Please bring a suggested donation of $20 for the band.

LUCC Given Baby Grand Piano!

A beautiful Yamaha baby grand piano has been gifted to Lakewood United Church of Christ by a church member who is downsizing.  This gift is a beautiful contribution to the music ministry of the church.  Music Director, Hilton Kean Jones, is thrilled about this most generous gift!  It is a delight to hear him play this wonderful piano.

A new hymn/anthem

Sometimes this fall, the choir will sing a new hymn I wrote that was commissioned by The Academy of the Holy Names in Tampa in honor of the Blessed Mother Marie-Rose Durocher, Foundress of The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (Soeurs des Saints Noms de Jésus et de Marie). I wrote the words & the music. I used the favorite biblical text of Marie-Rose as the reference upon which my poem is based, along with the mission statements of the school and the order of the Sisters.

Here’s the words:
Fire of Justice, Fire of Love
Scriptural reference: “I have come to cast fire on the Earth,
and how I wish it were already kindled.” LUKE 12:49

Fire of justice,
Fire of love,
In my heart, be burning bright.
Fire of service,
Fire of truth,
May the world now be alight.

And as God’s Love inflames our hearts,
may we be kindling for that fire.
For to the earth God’s truth imparts
those acts that service does require.


Now may our learning banish hate,
and may our love extinguish fear,
for justice does God’s Love equate,
and to that guidance we adhere.


Impov’rished and abandoned they
who live upon society’s edge
shall have their needs be met this day.
To God we make this solemn pledge.


As gracious and accepting we
give gen’rously of time and gift,
that we a welcome presence be.
No truer purpose does exist.


The score for the hymn is below and HERE is a link to a computer simulation of an anthem for treble voices based on the hymn. (No, computers aren’t smart enough yet to sing the words, so the children’s chorus in the simulation just sings “ahhhh…”) Click on the images below for larger views.

Text of the anthem, “The Lost”

Recently, at the request of a few folk, I posted the text I wrote for an anthem the choir sang. There were several very positive, and quite unexpected, responses to the post.

I’ve only ever consider myself a lyricist-by-necessity, since anthems need texts and I’m too cheap to pay for new ones and to lazy to go to the trouble of applying for copyright permission. So…I’m amazed that anyone would show an interests in my anthem (hymn, song) texts.

Here’s another one, and it’s sung to an original tune. The choir has done it a few times.

As the sheep wandered lost ‘midst the cold and the dark.
it did hear its shepherd’s voice and know that love was near.
Peace and closeness and safety as it felt the embrace
and was lifted and carried to a home free of fear.

And the coin once lost that is valued and prized
by the woman who sweeps her home,
has been found and shown to the neighbors in joy
as she holds her lamp up high.

And the child returned from a life of despair
now is fêted and welcomed home,
for the acts that matter are not our mistakes
but our taking the gift that’s giv’n,

that we not push away God’s love…
that we not push away God’s love.