It has been a little over a year since I began this blog. Several friends, especially my pastor, had encouraged me to start one. The “blessing” of an injury at work and the subsequent 2 months off to recuperate gave me the opportunity. Once I decided in a direction to head, I was off and running with Ars Sacra. In the months since, I have appreciated watching the number of viewers grow. While I have enjoyed posting articles, it has sometimes been somewhat of a chore to maintain the weekly articles I set up. I have also found that I had departed somewhat from my original intent, which is to explore the points where culture and the spiritual life found in Christ meet and bubble forth in the creative expression of music and art.

After taking off the month of July to rethink and retool, I am ready to relaunch into the blogosphere. My life is once again feeling a little topsy-turvy with numerous changes. The first of these is a change in my primary vocation and occupation. The injury that gave me the opportunity to start blogging has been a persistent presence over the last year and has forced a change in occupation. While I haven’t left my previous job, I have dropped down to a very part-time presence and have now returned to my previous calling and passion, which is teaching. I am thrilled to reenter youth ministry through my work with students at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, a school that I previously worked at from 1994-2002 and 2004-2005. I am excited to teach in the only subject area that I had not tried my hand at before, which is foreign language. Thanks in large part to the mission work that I took part in during my two visits to Uruguay (which I have documented elsewhere in this blog), I have refreshed my Spanish fluency enough to try teaching it to 7 classes of junior and senior high school students.

Secondly, I am helping to maintain and develop a burgeoning spiritual community that has been slowly growing from my weekly small group. We have started small, but our  bonds of friendship have deepened greatly over the last year and it will be exciting to see where God leads us in the coming weeks and months.

In light of these changes and increased demands on my time, I am planning on revamping this page slightly. I will continue to feature an Album of the Week. However, the Composer of the Week feature will switch to a monthly article. I will also continue to post tribute articles (In Memoriam“) of recently deceased artists who have contributed to the artistic and spiritual life of our culture, as I believe it is important to honor those who have gone before us and we look to the road ahead. I plan to return to my original intent and will try to post more theologically oriented articles on sacred art and its impact on community, (both within the Church and in the wider world). I also want to start a spotlight feature on some important books, both established classics which I have enjoyed over the years, as well as “recent reads” that have impacted me.

To all who have followed this blog and shown your interest and support over the last 13 months, my sincere thanks. I look forward with great expectation to see where this heads over the next year and hope to add to the conversation of what the Church will (or should) look like in the 21st Century and to see how the creative vision of God’s people can bring life, hope, and truly good news to a needy world. Stay tuned…