Oddwalk Ministries

advent

Advent Vinegar or Sugar?

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It is hopefully no surprise to anyone by now that the Church has entered another new year, as always beginning with the season of Advent.  It should also surprise no one when I (Orin) observe that some places have been in full-on Christmas mode since November 1, if not before.

Many of our peers in Church life, be they youth ministers, liturgists, priests, or the faithful baptized are bothered, perhaps even perturbed by the rush into the Christmas celebrations, and that by 7pm on December 25, some trees have already been kicked to the curb.  “One thing at a time,” they exclaim.  “We need more stillness, silence, waiting, expectation in our lives.  We need to remember the Lord is coming again!  We need to remember our traditions and our history.”

I suspect I can speak for Shannon too, but I certainly don’t disagree with any of that.  I am at the same time not so sure how much the angsty “Waaaaaaaah it’s still advent and also get off my lawn” sorts of statements and social media posts help.  Perhaps it’s just venting among friends, but I don’t think it’ll “convert” anyone to a certain way of seeing things, in this case the need we all have for a few weeks of advent in our lives.

A few days ago I posted this as a comment on a friend’s facebook status – a status that was more tongue-in-cheek than anything – but was still one about how Christmas had begun too soon.

Working at a Catholic shrine where a christmas drivethru of lights began a week (or sometimes more) before thanksgiving and the first thing one saw was a giant arch that said “Merry Christmas” across the top, I feel your pain. I used to be rather “vinegar” about it all; I try to be a little more “sugar” these days.

So, to that end, We at Oddwalk crafted a little video, one that is itself goofy and tongue-in-cheek, but attempts to use humor to remind folks, “Hey, don’t forget it’s still Advent around here.”  Hopefully this little bit of sugar will go further than some folks’ vinegar this time of year.  We are better evangelists when we do so with joy, after all.  So, check out what happens when you take some cheery advent songs and change them from major to minor.  Advent blessings to you all.  —Orin

 

Make a Home Now

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All, We’re excited to share this video with all of you today. It’s a composition of Orin’s that has become very important to both of us.

In Orin’s words:

I know we are in politically-charged times; I really don’t mean the piece to be a political statement, but rather an observation of the challenges of Christianity and how we view those around us made in the image and likeness of God.

The video is not only here but on YouTube and SoundCloud as well, and Orin has a webpage set up where one can find the score, a wonderful discussion guide for the video written by Shannon, and a link to make donations to CRS in their efforts dealing with this refugee crisis.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7zEPAEKav0
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/orinjohnson/make-a-home-now
Orin’s site: https://orinjohnson.com/make-a-home-now/

Thanks to many along the way for their help with this project, notably Michael C., Shannon C., Erin H., Rick T., and Emily B.

Another Publication! “An Advent Fantasia”

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10868190_10152607335186309_4580600600644399850_nOrin learned today another piece of his is now in print, back at GIA for this one: “An Advent Fantasia” which combines several advent tunes and texts into what the cool kids a couple years ago called a mash-up.  Seriously, it is a prayerful merging of musical and textual ideas, and could even be appropriate as a first prelude on Christmas Eve – you know, not this year, but probably next!

No samples (sheet music nor audio) are posted yet, but you can see the page for the piece and order it by clicking right here!