CHANGES! by Steve Bell


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