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At the end of last year, Collective hosted a number of Sunday night Services where we explored the deeper meanings, calls to action, and spiritual underpinnings of the music we find to be sacred, and which has become a part of our communal life and practice. Adopting the VH1 Storytellers format, we made the music the focal point of our services, narrating, reflecting and engaging practices before and after these songs that shape us. We're thrilled to release this first video following Mike's recent departure. Enjoy the video and the full transcript of his reflection below. Thanks to North Avenue Studios for capturing these songs in the life of Collective, and to the haunted house band for always haunting us in just the ways we need.
"... I was in church one Sunday, and I had an epiphany. A quiet, elegant epiphany. The hymn, “Jerusalem, My Happy Home” by Edward Clark rang from the organ during communion. And it sat heavy in my gut for days. The song explores the Jewish idea of Zion. Zion, God’s intent for the world, God’s perfect city high on a hill. Where there is no suffering, no confusion, no hate, no blindness, no helplessness, none of the things
I was feeling at the moment. Where is this place? How can I go?
Where is not the question.
Zion is here. Or rather, will be here. For in the Jewish tradition, Zion is ours to build. The idea sat quietly in my mind and began to grow. Soon, I started to see all of the kind, generous, and authentic things that others did as contributing to our perfect future, our city on a hill. Contributing to
something that we will never see in our lifetime. Something that isn’t for us, but for God’s good world. I realized that I could have just as big a part in the construction of Zion as anyone else. And my motivation for doing good and believing authentically
changed. I thought, moved, prayed, and believed all while thinking of our perfect future, and what we can do to build it for those who come after us.
With this faith in place, I knew where I stood. And I didn’t need perfect scripture or a divine intervention to make it certain. I knew. And I still know now. And that’s when paradise became beautiful again. For I know Zion is on the way. I don’t know if heaven is or not. I don’t have a desperate NEED for heaven. I have a beautiful HOPE for it. Here’s that beautiful hymn that changed my life rearranged and partially rewritten for Mic the Prophet:
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.