CHANGES! by Steve Bell

Changes

Sinai Desert
Sinai Desert

Changes, coming upon us/ It keeps moving, moving around us/ Got to keep dancing knowing He loves us/ Got to keep joy in our hearts.  – Jim Croegaert

This is the opening stanza of one of my favorite Jim Croegaert songs and a fitting beginning for the launch of this new website and a slightly narrower focus than I’ve had for the last several years.

We, like so many others, are in a season of heightened vulnerability as a result of the current recession.  Concert attendance is down, CD sales are down.  Retail has all but dried up and it is becoming increasingly difficult to access donations and grants that have been the operating assumptions of this organization for years.

So this means we have had to make some changes – most are internal and you won’t see them, but they are there and in some cases fairly dramatic. Oddly enough, I’m strangely energized by the whole affair. I’m sad that the staffing around here has had to change – because this is personal – it’s about friends.  And I’m sad that we need to shelve certain aspirations for a season.  But I have been at this long enough now to know that the “new” thing –  the next thing –  is always preceded by a time of disorientation and vulnerability.  And so I’m actually excited about what just may be around the next corner. That’s why I love Jim’s song  Changes so much. Change is indeed about vulnerability  – but “knowing He loves us” sets our feet to dancing right in the middle of the struggle  – not in spite or denial, but to give witness to what we know in our hearts is true.

Sinai Desert  - barren but gorgeous.
Sinai Desert - barren but gorgeous.

Earlier in the spring,  I was in Egypt and Israel with Rikk Watts, a theology professor from Regent College.  The most dramatic and powerful part of the trip was the piece of land between these two mighty stories. It’s called the Sinai Desert and if you want to leave Egypt on land and make your way to the promise – you have to go through this rugged and barren dessert. It’s not a wasteland. Anything but! Metaphorically speaking, it is the space between an old paradigm that no longer works, and the new one that does, but which you’d never imagine while still attached to the old.  In the end, Sinai is pure gift. It’s the beginning of newness.

Having said all that, the fall is full of solo concerts across Canada and the US.  I have a couple of symphony concerts near Christmas (Kitchener and Saskatoon) and I think one conference in San Francisco in mid-October.

I hope to get some good time during the remainder of this summer to write new songs. I can feel them percolating just beneath the surface – just need to give them the time and space to show. I may get in a guitar lesson or two as well to learn something new.

Meanwhile, we will be trimming some of the extras we’ve been able to do in the past several years. We are no longer in a position to actively promote other artists. You can still get Signpost artist CDs in our store but for ongoing information about them, please refer to their own sites.

Also, this is the first year we aren’t putting out a paper newsletter through the mail.  What this means is that it is very important we get everyone’s email addresses so we can stay in touch with current news, sales, concert info and new project announcements. If you aren’t on our email list, please go to the home page and follow the leads to the sign-up sheet.  This helps us a great deal.

I’ll be posting regularly on the Homepage and in the Blog, so keep returning.  We’ve got some cool things coming down the pike.

Cheers all!  I’m looking forward to the fall’s concerts and meeting some of you on the road.

12 Steve Bell / July 7 / 09

14 thoughts on “CHANGES! by Steve Bell

  1. Dear Steve,

    Changes nice I’m pretty sure I am on your email list if I recived this update. I enjoy your blogs and thoughts.

    Come back to Thunder Bay soon I agree with Sarah from Hull’s Bkstr

    I wish you a relaxing creative summer,
    Yours Natalie

  2. Thanks for this post Steve. As a 4 year old NGO, I look to others who are further along the journey. The recession has thrown us an interesting curve ball. We’ve got some decisions to make…thanks for leading the way.

  3. Hey Steve, your site lookd great! Sorry about the need to downsize, but welcome to the recessionary environment. We are all tightening up these days. Let me know if you’re playing anywhere in the Midwest US or London, ON. We’d gladly make the trip up to see you!
    xo,
    C + J

    Reply from Faye Hall: Steve will be doing a full-blown symphony concert for advent with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra in Kitchener on Dec. 6th, and a solo concert in Brighton on Dec. 4th. The info is on our “Schedule” page. Hope you can make it to one of them!

  4. Now if my fingers would obey my typing commands, I’d be in great shape! (s/b LOOKS great, not LOOKD great.)

  5. and…..

    He knows all of your needs and/He will meet them following His plan/Even the changes turning in His hand/soon will part of it all.”
    (more from Jim Croegaert)

    The changes are turning – I like how you enjoy the journey even as they turn…

  6. There is nothing more constant than change. Those who respond positively to them will grow and flower. I love what you do ever since I was dragged to one of your concerts in Edmonton some years ago now expecting to get fleeced by a church but, rather, became totally enthralled with your music and humour. I have all your songs on my ITouch and they out number the rest 2-1. Have also been to several of your concerts in the Vancouver area and Abbotsford but I have never push ed my way through to crowds to talk to you at those events:)

  7. I saw you in Leaskdale and Ajax Ontario. I love your “On the wings of an Eagle”, and Isa. 40:31. So encouraging.
    Go to goodwood.gospelhall.com > Ministry_MP3 > Listen to Ministry. Check out “The Perfect Servant”. Much food for thought and song. Much Love in the name of our common Lord, Jesus the Christ.

  8. As usual, your attitude inspires me. Having just retired from 30 years of teaching and moving into the woods on a lake, the “what’s next?’ question is looming. I fill the house with your songs and remember that the real question is all about NOW. I hope to see you soon. Blessings.

  9. The new site looks great!

    Glad to see you will be in Brighton in December, we won’t miss it!!

  10. Anything you do gets my approval! Looks like a care-ful re-evaluation and reorganization.
    I wish to thank you for being an agent of relief for me today, I read your quote about changes and felt the comfort. Church today at the Vernon Alliance was gentle and inspiring, church is all about Jesus. I needed permission and the nudge to let go and let God guide me and my neighbours through a Strata mess now 5 years long. But, what can I DO!?! Apparently nothing, our manager is procrastinating for her own reasons while we wait for her to make the arrangements to borrow cash to fix our flooding problem. Changes require patience, there must be more organizational, charitable, creative acts I can be involved in while I wait for help.to happen. I have done all I can and I need the humility to trust God to do his work while I take better care of my own issues, not hurting myself and my loved ones by fretting. You didn’t fret in the recession, you changed your views, you accommodated.
    On the wings of an eagle..Steve, my friend.
    Leila Ward

  11. Keep up the great work Steve. My husband and I really enjoyed your Symphony concert in Ottawa. God bless!
    Judy

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