Overwhelmed, Overloaded, and Overjoyed

Today I’m definitely feeling the stress of trying to get the ball rolling in my life. They say the greatest things in life are often the hardest things to accomplish, this is definitely true of my circumstances. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited about the potential of what I could be doing in life a year from now and so on. I’m just merely expressing my frustration with the overload of tasks and work I am experiencing at this moment. 

 

Right now, I’m trying to figure out ways to bring more people into this service I’m currently helping lead called Vespers. Vespers has been one of the coolest and most life giving projects i’ve ever been a part of. Its been a difficult task, however, to try and express that excitement and passion and put it into words for other people. The difficulty here is trying to find creative and effective ways to let people know about this service. I think if people were aware of it, they’d be into it. To let you in on whats going on…

Vespers is a service offered by The Mission Chattanooga (the church/organization I am currently working for very part time and trying to find ways to work for on a more full time basis). This service is at 9:30pm on Sunday nights. The cool thing about this service is the way it is set up. The whole service is centered (literally) around a long table with the Eucharist (communion) in the middle. The idea is like sitting down around a table with your family, also paralleling the last supper. The great thing about this type of setting is the emphasis on community and intimacy in the midst of that community. I’ve loved arranging music for this type of setting, with a real simple approach to the acoustic arrangements. The joy for me in this is the fact that this is were my heart and passion is. I love playing with a big band and rocking out sometimes in any context, but when it comes to worship to God, there’s something very sweet and genuine, for me personally, in a simple offering in both arrangement, and in style. I love leaving space in the arrangements for the music to go places I may not have intended for it to go. I think there’s something really special about the group of musicians that play at Vespers. I’ve so enjoyed playing with this group and working through the songs we’ve added in. When creating this service, we had a mindset of trying to create an atmosphere of ancient traditions (much like the other services at The Mission Chattanooga), and trying to blend new and innovative expressions of worship. We have liturgical pieces interwoven throughout the service, both recited together, and put to music to sing. Its a great time of fellowship, prayer, and communion. 

 

The other things I have going on are trying to figure out how to do what I love and am passionate about OUTSIDE of the context of ministry and church, namely all things related to music. I’ve had some really good conversations with people more experienced in entrepreneurship than I, aiding and educating me in the ways of entrepreneurial thinking. I feel that I could have a lot of things to offer, from guitar lessons, to songwriter workshops, to even the possibility of consulting for other churches in blending services and ministry with traditional styles and more modern styles to fit the needs of their congregations. I’ve done all of these things before and I love to do them. The hard part about all of this is direction. Branding is a big part of my thinking on this. I feel like it would be a good move to maybe brand myself and my skills can be the products under that brand. Its an idea I’m fleshing out and working through. I’m always up for any input if any of you have opinions or ideas on this. Its all very new to me. 

 

Another thing I’m working on is trying to find ways to play music on a more professional level outside of church. Trying to find places to play is hard enough, but trying to get somewhere to record, the time to record, and the songs to record are also a bit frustrating to say the least. This is something I’ve been working on for quite some time now, with nothing but dead ends until more recently. As of late, I’ve had a bit of progress and began to pick up some momentum, which is encouraging. More to come on this as I have more to update. 

 

On top of all of these things, I’m also trying to find ways to raise support so I can even pursue any of these things, mostly the things that are within the context of ministry. Right now I still work another job and am mostly volunteering at The Mission. I’d love the opportunity to be able to dedicate more time to what I’m passionate about and feel called to within the over all ministry of The Mission. This has been extremely challenging, both generally, and personally. I was raised to never ask for money from anyone and work for everything you have. The idea of raising support for anything seems wrong in a sense, based on my background. Over time, I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that I’m not asking for money, but rather giving the people who either believe in ME, or believe in the cause I am fighting for, the opportunity to become a part of that cause, and support the progress and potential success of that cause. I think that is an amazing thing. You can definitely be praying for me in this, I need it. 

 

So over all, my plate is pretty full. Its been pretty stressful this week, but a good kind of stressful. I’m excited about what is happening, and the potential of what could come of all of this in my life, and how God might use me in the greater context of this ministry. Its nice to have progress in my life. Its nice to feel a purpose and a goal. 

 

For more info on what is going on you can check out these websites: 

http://www.missionchattanooga.org

http://www.facebook.com/missionvespers

http://www.facebook.com/codyharrismusic 

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