The Plymouth Version of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”
By: Diane Hayes
Did you ever notice how connected our lives are, and in so many unexpected ways? That web of connection through Plymouth Church extends much farther than you might imagine.
One of the things I do for Plymouth is report copyrights and permissions for every piece of music played in service: any musical text that is printed in the bulletin or included in a podcast is reported. During Pride Month, we’ve been using hymns from Songs for the Holy Other, a collection of hymns affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I can report most of these hymns as usual but some of them require us to obtain permission directly from the poet or composer.
On June 6, we sang the hymn, “God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces,” written by Edward Moran. He graciously gave us permission to use it after looking Plymouth up online, and realizing that his pastor, David Nunn-Telfort, served here as a TiM. Edward told me it was the first time he’d heard all the verses sung in one performance, making it a “world premier” of sorts.
On June 20, we will sing “For Those Who Suffered,” words and music by Benjamin Smith. He quickly responded in the affirmative to my email. Moments later, Rushing Kimball appeared in my doorway telling me that Benjamin had emailed him (Rushing) to let him know that I had contacted him (Benjamin) about Plymouth using the hymn. It turns out they are friends from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
The world may be a big place, but thanks to webs of relationships and generations of ministry, Plymouth’s connections stretch far beyond Central Iowa. Let us give thanks and continue the work of building community, sharing our light of love with all we meet.