Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gearing Up for an NPM Plenum

Can't believe it has been over a week since I have posted here. After returning from the Liturgical Music Institute on Long Island, I spent a few days of relaxation on the coast of Lake Michigan in the beautiful state of Michigan.

Here is a photo I took while laying in the grass on a small park in the town of Saugutuck, awaiting the July 4th parade.

For the past many months, I have been working on the plenum keynote presentation that I will be delivering on Monday at the annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, which will be held this year in Saint Louis. The way I approach these larger presentations is to let the theme ruminate within my own experience, jot down notes here and there, then begin to flesh out an outline, until finally reaching a point of writing the complete text. I use a prepared text and stick to it; keeps me on time and helps those running the PowerPoint presentation know where I am and which slide to show next.

Here is the title and the description given to me by NPM:
Good News for a Wounded PeopleWhere is the Good News for those who feel disillusioned or disaffected, alienated from institutional structures they no longer trust or value? How do we help those who are losing heart to renew their hope? And how do we remain faithful ministers of the Gospel in our own discouragement while reaching out to those who feel they have no place at the Table of the Lord? Explore how we can not only live with our current experience but even find Good News in it.
Frankly, this has been a challenging presentation for which to prepare; certainly not an easy topic. I hope that my words will resonate, challenge, and inspire those in attendance. Looks like the good folks over at PrayTell will be live streaming the plenum presentations. Mine is part of the opening event, which begins Monday at 1:30 CDT. I imagine I would start at around 2:30 or 2:45.
Right now I am sitting in a hotel room in Concord California, just east of San Francisco. I am presenting RCIA workshops in the Diocese of Oakland tomorrow and in the Archdiocese of San Francisco on Friday, all part of the seminar series being sponsored throughout the country by the J.S. Paluch Company and World Library Publications.
More about the NPM convention tomorrow, as well as other happenings!
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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