Find the Rhythm at Saint Stephen's


Next Wednesday, January 9, following dinner at Saint Stephen’s, people of all ages will sit in a circle beating on bongo drums and shaking rhythm instruments.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And it is all happening in a church!  I mean, what is going on!

Today, as our staff was gathered around the table in our conference room, the place where we gather every Thursday to dream and plan and cultivate new ideas of how to live out our faith, a few people raised questions about why we might want to have a drum circle for people of all ages on a Wednesday Night.  There was a moment of silence.  No one seemed too eager to answer.  “Umm.  Its cool and weird?”  That is true.  Another response resonated with how fun it is to make noise and it’s an activity that people of any age can do. And while both of these are true, it is also not the whole truth.   

I learned recently that one of the most ancient meditation forms is drumming.  In many disciplines, people have used drumming as a form of mindfulness and healing: a simple way to calm down and remove stress from one’s life. However, I am interested in a group of people finding a way to be in sync with each other, of a common rhythm uniting a group of people and inviting others into a community.  When someone begins to play the rhythm of the group, they become a part of the group.  It doesn’t mean they will behave identically, but their beat will work with the others.   

Doesn’t this describe the life of church?  People learning how to be in sync with one another.  While we might each have our own beats, we try to work together to make a beautiful song of love, justice, and hope for the universe.  Ultimately, we try to make our song in sync with the Holy One we name as Christ.  Being a person in a faith community is about learning to hear the beat and join in.    

It is a new year and a chance to make a new song.  Won’t you come and join the beat and make some beautiful noise at Saint Stephen’s as we kick off our Wednesday Night Live program with a live drumming circle.  We have invited the internationally recognized John Scalici to lead our congregation in a drumming extravaganza.  Dinner at 5:45pm and drumming at 6:30pm.  I hope you will join us.


The Rev. John B. Burruss

John Burruss