Oddwalk Ministries

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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

 

Almost There!

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We’re sure all of you will be excited to learn that our website is nearing the 60,000 visitor threshold.  We’ll wait for you to stop shouting for joy…

…seriously, you’re embarrassing yourself…

…better? Good.

To celebrate this milestone, we are planning to write a song about the 60,000th visitor.  We will then post a video of that song for the world to see.  In writing the song, we’ll take a few facts about the visitor-in-question and then make up the rest.  If you need this in your life, be sure to pay attention to the stat counter towards the bottom of the left-hand column on our website, http://oddwalkministries.com/oddblog

It looks like this:

 

Once we determine the winner, we will try and contact that person about their…um…prize.

Happy clicking!

Are you a recognizable Christian?

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As we here at Oddwalk continue along our journey of more intentional blogging, it’s my (Orin’s) turn to share a bit about the second word of our tagline, “Justice.” Though that tag line has only accompanied us for some 16 or so months now, justice has always been an important piece of who we are…

NCCYM 2016 Videos

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This past weekend, Oddwalk was invited to take on several roles that exemplify the things we find important in our ministries, at the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in San Jose, California.  We are grateful for these opportunities, whether it’s leading prayer, encouraging audience participation, making people laugh, or commenting on our retreat ministry.  Here are a few videos of those moments.

 

First, here we are, with Shannon’s wife Erin, singing a prelude before the Saturday morning mass, a piece by Orin titled “To Know Darkness,” published by GIA Publications and on our “Walk Away Different” CD.

 

Next, here we are talking a bit about our retreat ministry at a “Great Ideas” session later that day.

 

But a highlight for us of these NCCYM weekends is the “Youth Ministry Extravaganza” — a chance for folks like us, who “do what we do,” to thank the youth ministers (and others) in attendance and hopefully feed their souls through, among other things, humor.  We relish the chance to create original “set pieces” for this night (previously “May God Bless and Keep You,” “Songs We Should Never Record” and others); this year, thanks to an idea from our friend Erin Brennan, we created a segment where we pretend to be covering the Games of the XXIII Liturginerd Olympiad.

 

For a couple extra “goodies” related to the Liturginerd Olympics, click here! Thanks San Jose and the NFCYM for a great conference, see you next year at NCYC!

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.

A Few NCYC 2015 Videos

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Hello Everyone! We had a marvelous time at NCYC, both making music and hanging out at the booth. Here are a few NCYC-related videos for you to enjoy.

First, an “at home” video of a new song we premiered at the NCYC comedy club, “Helping Verbs.”

Next, our super-cut video of all the “Oddwalk This Way” vine videos from the booth!

And last, a video of a song we prayed with at the Friday daily mass, “Have Faith.”

Playing Catchup

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Hey folks – just a few updates for you, exciting things have been happening!

Any Given Sunday – Shannon had a reflection there recently for Divine Mercy Sunday, and Orin will in a couple weeks. Check out Shannon’s here.

Another Publication! – Orin has another piece in print at WLP, “The Lord Is My Shepherd” – a choral setting of Psalm 23 he wrote for his last Shrine mass about 3 years ago. Check out the sample score and listen to a bit of audio here.

Week of the Young Child Concert – For the 10th anniversary of this celebration, Orin joined Shannon and Chris & Isaiah Korte for a program in Kirksville MO, and we all were featured on the local news! Watch below.

Songs We Should Never Record – NCCYM 2014

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songsweshouldneverrecordHello everybody! Boy, did we have a blast at NCCYM in San Antonio this past weekend – we hope you did too. We’re happy to make available to our visitors, absolutely free, various versions of our small piece of the Friday Night Youth Ministry Extravaganza, “Songs We Should Never Record.” Many people have asked us about video, audio, or lyrics – and they’re all here!

First, the video:

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And, an mp3 you are free to download!
♫ SongsWeShouldNeverRecord.mp3 ♫
(use the pic above for artwork – click to enlarge – if you like!)

And a pdf with all the lyrics and a few of the images from the show: songsweshouldneverrecord.pdf

The mp3 is also out on the pOddcast now, if you are a subscriber!

We also want to add a special word of thanks to our friend Mike Kivett, who penned the words to “There They Go, Lord.” Mike is a great live audio technician, he helped us with our first couple self-produced CDs, and most importantly is an all around good egg. When he heard some our silly stuff we were asking him to record, he shared with us his little creation, and we’re certainly glad he did. Thanks, Mike!

And thanks as well to the NFCYM for a great conference as always, and great NCYCs the other years. See you next fall in Indy!


PS – A couple people have asked us about the lyrics to the “Stand By Your Man” parody we sang as part of the finale of the night. Those words were written by Bob Rice, here they are:

Sometimes its hard to be a pastor,
Caring for all those ministries.
Absolving all those sins, the roof is caving in,
And the youth room needs a 55 inch flat screen high definition TV.

Stand by your man,
Give him an ear to listen.
It’s hard, he’s always giving,
And you are kind of needy.
Stand by your man,
And even if he’s awkward,
Make him look as cool as you can,
Baby! Stand by your man.

Shannon’s Top Ten of 2011

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Well, here ends another great year for Oddwalk Ministries. We had the opportunity to bring what we do to a lot of great places: Granite City, IL – Toledo, Ohio – Mascoutah, IL – Breese, IL – Belleville, IL – Davenport, IA – Washington DC – Buffalo, NY – Fairview Heights, IL – Hazelwood, MO…