Posts Tagged ‘kaleidoscope’

MLK Day Remembrance

January 18th, 2010 No comments

I am not a very sentimental person and rarely get caught up in traditions or holidays, but today represents a significant day of remembrance as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  This man was so influential in my life and my understanding of the world that we named our daughter after him (Mikayla Lillian Kickert).  It was an honor this morning to march along side my brothers and sisters and to have my daughter join us.  Here is a picture of me and little MLK from this morning and a shot from the march:

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If you haven’t already done it, please take the time to listen to MLK’s prophetic “I have a dream” speech.  I still cannot listen to it without tearing up.  I have included it below for your convenience

Finally, I want to share with you a prayer that I wrote several years ago to commemorate the day.  The following is an invocation written in 2008 for the annual MLK remembrance service in Bowling Green.  It is inspired by the UMC Book of Worship prayer for such occasion.

God of all creation, we stand together today and acknowledge your presence among us as we seek to be your people united in love.  As we worship today, we pray that you grant us a glimpse of your Kingdom. A kingdom where everything is made new and all nations walk together in the light of your Glory.

We thank you for your servant Martin Luther King Jr. who lived out the principles of your kingdom, and through his prophetic voice, offered the vision of what could be.  May we be challenged by his courage, emboldened by his passion, and inspired by his actions.  But heavenly father, may we not rest of the laurels of his godly work, but instead strive together to bring deeper love and greater unity as we all seek to live out your calling on our lives.  May we, even today, experience the same divine discontent that spurred Dr. King to be a voice for justice and an advocate for love.

Today we remember the conviction of Dr. King, who said:

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Therefore, let us pray for courage and determination for those who are oppressed.  And at the same time, may we not be blind to the oppression we bring, nor deaf to the voices crying against it.
Today we remember Dr. King’s words that

True peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.

Therefore let us pray not only for relief from tensions and conflicts, but for a just and compassionate world.  May those who work for peace in our world be those crying loudest for justice and may we find peace not in the comforts of life, but in the tension that comes from standing in the gap.
Today we remember Dr. King’s insight that:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, because we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny,

Therefore, let us pray that we may see nothing in isolation, but instead find ourselves unified in love and perfected in peace.  May we rejoice with those rejoicing, and mourn with those morning.  And today father, may we join the struggles of those bothers and sisters throughout the world who are striving for peace and justice.
Today we remember Dr King’s lament that:

The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound, often the arch-supporter of the status quo. 

Therefore, let us pray that neither those gathered here today nor any congregation of Christ’s people may be silent in the face of wrong, but that we may be disturbers of the status quo when it comes into conflict with God’s Kingdom.

Finally, we remember Dr. King’s prophetic words that:

The dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Therefore, in faith, let us contend against evil and make no peace with oppression so that we join in the legacy of Dr. Martin King Jr. and work together to fulfill the vision he shared of your Kingdom come. 

Lord, while we still hear jangling discords in our nations, may we be beautiful notes in the symphony of brotherhood. 

In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace we pray, Amen.

Variety is the spice of life

June 11th, 2009 No comments

First, the mandatory confession: I suck at blogging.  There, I said, it now I can continue with my post without having to promise I will do better this time.  Lets face it, chances are this will be my only blog post for six months.  Now on to the good stuff.

The last 2 months have by far been the most transitional of my life.  Mikayla was born, I graduated from seminary, the distillery I work at had its grand opening, Kaleidoscope is undergoing a major transition… the list goes on.  In reflecting on these months I have grown to appreciate the tension of my life (some would call it chaos).  I love having my hands in a bunch of different pots (although I will admit I am not the best multi-tasker).

Right now, my primary job is that of stay-at-home dad.  This is the first week Mikayla and I have been home together alone on a regular basis.  I gotta say I love it.  She is sleeping right next to me on the bed as I type this.  I had someone urge me yesterday to apply for a full time job with great benefits and an excellent salary.  I turned it down.  I would not trade these hours with my daughter for any amount of money.

My primary source of income now comes from Corsair Distillery.  We make top shelf craft spirits.  Right now we are selling a gin, absinthe, spiced rum and vanilla bean vodka.  We are also working on several varieties of whiskey.  I love it because my job is different everyday: run the still, do tours and tastings, clean up, manage press releases, work with distributors, label, bottle, package….  I also enjoy the mix between science and craft.  We basically use science to create a craft product.  I guess you could say my artistic medium of choice is ethanol.

Speaking of Art, that brings me to my next job: Kaleidoscope.  Things really have changed since I came on in 2007.  Instead of a 250K budget, we now have about 5K in our account and no regular source of income.  I used to work more with community development, now I work with development.  Basically I am a (near) volunteer grant writer.  Right now we have well over a million dollars in outstanding grants.  It is crazy just waiting around to hear back on these.  We could live the next 3 years in feast or famine.

Finally, I work as UMC local pastor.  While my appointment is currently to Broadway UMC in Bowling Green, I have spent the last 6 months in Russelville at a small rural church.  They have been awesome to us and it has been great to have a chance to shape my seminary education into messages relevant to the church.  I am sure some of them are sick hearing about the Old Testament and importance of understanding the trajectory of redemptive history, but I am confident our time together has resulted in a better understanding of how we fit into the bigger picture.

Each of these four areas are so diverse, yet capture a small part of who I am.  I am a husband/father/distiller/grant writter/community developer/pastor who doesn’t seek to reconcile his existence, but instead find comfort in the tension.

BG-ONE: Voices For Justice // Update

March 19th, 2007 No comments

We held our first organizational meeting for the upcoming BG-ONE event at Broadway UMC and things seem to be coming together nicely. We have decided to label this event as “Voices For Justice” and will work with the theme “Come Together.” While the overall focus is injustice, there will be some elements addressing racial reconciliation. Additionally we will be partnering with the official One Campaign in a more official way.

A Mission Statement has been developed for our work: We seek to educate our community about local and global injustice, encourage our community to take action that will change this injustice, and build a community of activists united to make injustice history. Beyond raising awareness, we are also seeking to raise money to donate to local and global aid organizations including financing part of Kaleidoscope’s trip to New Orleans.

Schedule: We will meet on Wednesdays starting March 28 and will run until April 25. The actual event will be at 6:00 at Broadway UMC (1323 Melrose St). The April 25 date will be a rehearsal at Broadway and we will set up and practice the afternoon of the 28th.

Involvement: The primary artistic elements will be coming from the students in Kaleidoscope. We will be teaching classes in Hip Hop, Poetry, Art and Band. The technical arts will be handled primarily by adults and outside of the Wednesday sessions.

How can you help? Once again we will need your support and your assistance.

If you are available, we would love to have you join us on Wednesday nights to help and participate with the classes. Even if you don’t have a particular “skill set” we would love to have you connect with the students. Additionally, we need help with the technical arts aspect of the event (Rick?? Ron??). That would include videography as well as editing and compiling elements.

If you bring special talents or passions to the table, we would love to include that. Last time we found that some of the most successful elements were those that were not planned, but that were incorporated along the way. We are wanting to include more outside involvement in this event that can take place outside of the Wednesday Night gatherings. Specifically we talked about including artistic pieces from the community and various congregations around Bowling Green. We will need people to coordinate the art sale as well organize and lead setting up environment and displays at the church.
We have a rough outline of what the event will look like. Of course this is open to change and will evolve.

  • Prelude / Intro (Video)
  • Opening
  • Call to Worship
  • 8 Goals Video
  • ONE (hip-hop performance)
  • Racial Reconciliation Creative Piece
  • Dialogical Sermon
  • Making the Band Original Piece
  • Offering (Man on the Street Interview??)
  • “Waiting on the World to Change”
  • Conclusion (Communion?)
  • Closing Performance – Come Together

Please contact Ben Kickert or Gary Hook if you have questions.

BG-ONE // Voices Against Poverty

March 7th, 2007 No comments

Organizational Meeting Tonight!!

Hey folks, we will be meeting at Broadway UMC to discuss upcoming plans for our upcoming Voices Against Poverty Showcase. We will meet in the Video Cafe at Broadway. You can get directions here.

We will be continuing with the focus on the ONE campaign and the Millennium Development Goals, but the theme this time will be “Come Together.”

The preparation sessions will run from March 28 through April 25 with the showcase on April 28th at Broadway. We are in need of people to help organize and lead. If you receive this email it is because you either were involved in the first U2charist or you are a part of Emergent-BG. Either way we would love your help. Please feel free to forward this to anyone else who would like to be involved.

If you have questions I encourage you attend this organizational meeting on Wednesday or to contact Gary Hook or Ben Kickert. We will be sure to keep you posted on developments.

U2charist Wrap Up

December 13th, 2006 2 comments

u2 posterThe Kingdom of God is at Hand – but God has called his church to bring about its fulfillment.

This was seen in an incredible way last Sunday at the u2charist service held at Christ Episcopal church. Here are some of the reactions from people involved:

Jim Quigley:

I’m sitting here at my desk at work after a day off yesterday. I’m also sitting in a puddle of my own tears. Images of starving children bullet across my consciousness – the Eight video won’t stop playing. ONE! TWO! THREE! Gary and Marcus’ voice keep calling – to you to you to you…may we be one – Sunday Bloody Sunday. There are lives at stake there are lives at stake therearelivesatstaketherearelivesatstaketherearelivesatstakemillionsandmillionsofthemeven ourlivesareatstake. Jesus, I pray it’s all too much. Church may never be the same for me. In fact nothing may be. I’m no stranger to art and performance or the powerful evocative or the mysterious sacred and yet our service is still playing itself out in my mind – most of all in the form of a starving naked boy. My God what have we done? And I mean, my God, what have we done? What have we humans done to the earth and to one another? That white bird covered in oil…

We are sending a check the THE HUNGER PROJECT for more than $7,000. Six million nine-hundred and ninety-three thousand to go. I think that’s a reasonable goal. Another even 7. A biblical number. C’mon.

Thank you all for all of this. You know, I think I have had Christmas now, a little early. In the church we call this incarnation, and for me incarnation is a marriage of pain and love – my image of GOD in Christ – that’s Jesus for me. You all have helped me recognize Christ again – thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.

Gary Hook:

I am kind of late in my response to the beautiful event that we all help create this past weekend. All I would like to say to everyone involved is thank you all for what each person has done…………that night i truly felt something……..something I rarely feel.

I have enjoyed getting to know each one of you during this process. Once I know you I love you. Thank You for being who you are you are all great.

Somebody call Bono and tell him to get down to Bowling Green. We are doing BIG things.

Ron Morehead:

I can really say that this has been one of the highlights of the past year for me. To be able to meet such amazing people as Ben and Gary and Paul and Bonnie and Lauren and Sharon and everyone else over the past few weeks has been great! To work with some of the kids and feel their energy and passion has been uplifting. To have the leadership of Steve and Jim and Ben and others to guide us down this path is inspirational.

Tonight was perfect, in every way! I was sweating bullets hoping that the tech side would come off great (you never know when computers will act up!) Every person involved committed themselves to this project and all the little puzzle pieces of each person’s contribution fit perfectly into a grand picture and message that everyone loved. Everyone I looked at in the crowd was riveted to every word, every picture, every rhythm, every note and everything that we put together. How amazing!

I want to thank everyone for a truly inspiring message for myself and for others. We talked about the service all during dinner with some friends that we invited and because of that, I know that such collaborations between groups such as Christ Episcopal, Broadway, and Kaleidoscope should and hopefully will continue in the future.

Anyone thinking of BG ONE 2007???? I’m up for it!

This is the revolution – We are the revolutionaries – Don’t Close Your Eyes!


October 27th, 2006 No comments

Several area groups have combined and are working together to create an impact on global extreme poverty.  Youth from across the area will be working on projects consisting of Spoken Word, Music (Hip Hop, Live Band), Visual Arts, and Digital Arts.  This will be showcased during a service of sacred communion at Christ Episcopal Church here in Bowling Green on December 10th.  It will use songs from U2 (hence the name) to raise awareness and action toward the Millennium Development Goals and the One Campaign.  Let me know if you would be interested in helping with this.