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Music for the Movement

At choir rehearsal last week, we spent some time brainstorming hymns that could be used for the upcoming Sunday service entitled: Poetry & Prophecy: The Voices of Justice. In a matter of minutes, we had listed more than a dozen hymns from our UU hymnals, from “Step by Step” (#157) to “Siyahamba” (#1030) and from “We Shall Overcome” (#169) to “Building a New Way” (#1017). There were so many hymns to choose from! Hymns about freedom, hymns about justice, hymns about peace, hymns about “singing for our lives,” hymns about “more love somewhere.”

As Rev. Carol mentioned in her eloquent sermon this week, each of these songs elicits that deep emotional connection with smooth words that inspire us to march toward beloved community. I truly believe that a spark -- of prophecy, of poetry, of creativity, of hope -- lives within each of us. It’s a “seed of hope” deep inside, singing a song of love for all Creation. It’s that still, small voice within that holds onto the lyrics and melodies of these special hymns that point us toward action and purpose -- just as the “I Have a Dream” speech continues to resonate, decades after it was delivered, in the hearts of generations.

In the days ahead, may we continue to find strength in the words of poetry, music, and art. May we find our own voice and create our own prophetic words. Most importantly, may we use these smooth words to be inspired -- and inspire others -- to take action and bend the arc of moral universe toward justice and love.

So may it be.

What’s on your social justice song list?

Comments or questions about our music ministry? Email me at

Make a joyful noise!


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