STEVE’S YEAR END UPDATE 2023
Dear Friends and Supporters,
I am writing this during the last week of Ordinary Time, before the Church begins her liturgical journey, once again, with the season of Advent.
Advent is a time to ponder the mystery of the One “who came with love to Bethlehem, who comes (now) with grace into our souls, and who will yet come with justice at the end of the age.”1. This is the season where we reverently wait in wonder before the incomprehensible mystery of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
I’ve been thinking a lot about hope this past year. I am certain that being hopeful must mean something far richer and deeper than the blithe maintenance of a cheerful optimism amidst grim circumstances. The songs I have been writing have a thread of Easter hope running through them. They seem to be pointing to a future we can only dimly perceive, as through a fog… anticipating a glad surprise that doesn’t circumvent the painful labor of birth, but that patiently bears suffering for the sake of the world.
This is the way of Christ, whose incarnation reveals the glory of God as self-giving love.
New Album: The Glad Surprise (release date: September 2024)
I’ll be going into the studio early in the new year to begin recording my 22nd album, tentatively called The Glad Surprise. It will include, among other things, a couple of new songs I’ve written with Malcolm Guite; my setting of William Blake’s “The Divine Image”; a cover of Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time”; and at least one new guitar instrumental piece.
As with the last album, I’ll be writing a book of reflections as a companion to the songs. We’ve already begun to plot new music videos as well.
For your interest, this is designer Roberta Landreth’s first stab at an album cover. She borrowed heavily from the lyrics of one of the songs Malcolm and I wrote, simply called “Pentecost.”2.
The chorus goes:
This is the feast of fire, air, and water
Poured out and breathed, and kindled into earth
The earth herself awakens to her maker
Translated… translated out of death and into birth.
“Such is the glad surprise,” writes Howard Thurman. “This is what Easter means in the experience of the [human] race. This is the resurrection! It is the announcement that life cannot ultimately be conquered by death… that there is strength added when the labours increase, that multiplied peace matches multiplied trials, that life is bottomed by the glad surprise.”3.
I could really use your support for this project. Costs of production and manufacturing will exceed $40,000 on top of salaries and business expenses requisite to this work.
As you are discerning how you might disperse your year-end giving, please consider my work and this particular project which we hope to release in early fall, 2024.
Of course, your donation is fully tax-receipt-able via our ministry partner IncarNation Ministries.
I deeply appreciate your consideration. I have been able to create meaningful music and events for over 30 years largely because of the support of the wider community.
Thank you so very much. Peace to you and yours this season.
1.Fr. Gabrielle of St Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy
2.Adapted from Malcolm Guite’s poem “Pentecost,” Sounding the Seasons
3.Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart
All donations for Steve Bell are processed by and receipts issued by IncarNATION Ministries a registered Canadian charity No. 88728 3208 RR0001.
Please make all cheques payable to Incarnation Ministries (memo line – Steve Bell) and send to:
Box 16, Station L
To enable a monthly chequing debit, mail or email a voided cheque to the above address or email to email@example.com.
One Time Donations (Canada)
Monthly Donations (Canada)
If you are already giving monthly, please consider increasing the amount of your donation. Click the button and let us know how much you would like to increase your donation.
To make a custom donation by phone, please call Faye Hall at:
E-Transfers Now Accepted (Canadians only)
Send to: Faye@stevebell.com
In the “Message” area for the transfer, please state that the amount is meant for Incarnation Ministries, and leave your name, address and phone number so that we can send you a tax receipt.
In accordance with Canadian charitable regulations, Incarnation Ministries reminds each donor to Incarnation Ministries that while she or he has requested that Incarnation Ministries apply her or his gift to the work of Steve Bell’s ministry, Incarnation Ministries is required by law to have complete discretion on how it uses its resources and will not return the gift to the donor even if it does not use the gift in the manner the donor requests. Historically, Incarnation Ministries has consistently since its inception in 2003 in Canada has directed 100% of all gifts (other than from its principal benefactor, who pays for all administration costs) to the artists, theologians and projects chosen by Incarnation Ministries.