This past weekend I found myself sitting in a field with a thousand other sojourners in faith, music, and meaning at Reunion 2017 hosted by United Pursuit. The retreat was a great experience for me. 

I have no official word, only a personal perspective, that this particular tribe seems to be carrying a very special love for the common man, the human struggle, and a solid dose of the the Psalmist’s leadership in worship and songwriting. I felt like people on the edges of faith would have felt welcome there, and that made me feel so at home. 

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Aaron Keyes from 10,000 Fathers 
When I heard Aaron, from Ten Thousand Fathers, speak I was really blown away. He was rolling out line after line of memorable quips, tips, and challenges, but the whole time he was weaving one story arc: our intimacy and connection with God is to be immediately converted into sharing and helping others. Thank you, thank you, Aaron. I hope to turn my passions for God into something more like a serving kind of love that changes lives. 

Are you needing some training in worship leading? Creativity that combines faith with action? I think the 10,000 Fathers worship school could be the place for you. 

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Jim Orred
Jim Orred, a guy with a father's heart who really listened to me; I was really moved by him. He reminded me that every gift, trade, gender, vision and age needs a father's touch and I was impressed that he had chosen this gathering to strategically be available to others. I am praying for even more men with experience to show up and be interested in what God is doing in the new generation of leadership!

Hear what my friend Andrew Kooman says about Jim Orred.

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Malcolm Du Plessis from Common Hymnal
I asked Malcolm, What one thing is driving you right now in your work with artists? He answered, in a rolling English accent: I want to increase the number of believing artists with Kingdom hearts who are heard around the world. (I paraphrased a bit.) 

I first met Malcolm over the phone around 2002 and, at his invitation, flew to Nashville to speak at a Worship Together conference. His commitment then, and now, has been steady on networking great faith-filled songwriters together to unfold the beauty of the Kingdom, the family of God, together. Thanks, Malcolm, for the rich encouragements, and, oh, by the way, I think  in some way you are a patron saint of Hospitality.

If you want to know what I mean, see how he invites new songwriters to contribute to the growing collection of songs from the spiritual underground at the Common Hymnal.

 

Special thanks to my longtime friend Randy West and Aaron Strumpel for some great company, as well Stephan Roach, Andy Squyres, Josh Garrels, Nathan Fray and the many, many others I had the pleasure of connecting with!

Hanging out on the Front Porch of Johnny Cash's retreat called Storytellers.

Hanging out on the Front Porch of Johnny Cash's retreat called Storytellers.

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