STEVE’S WINTER / 2020 UPDATE
Dear friends and supporters,
The last time I wrote a donor letter was this time last year, at which point none of us could have predicted the year we’ve had since.
In only a few months, our mighty and proud civilization has been both humbled and apocalypsed.
Humbled in that we’ve been brought to our knees by an organism too small to see with the naked eye. And apocalypsed (apocalypse means unveiling) in that recent socio-political events have revealed alarming divisions among us that threaten to undermine “normal” as profoundly as has the Corona virus.
It’s all rather disconcerting, isn’t it? But it is also a time that a clear Christian voice can be better heard. My (our) mission is to “refresh Christian faith and spiritual tradition for the weary and the wary”, and today so many people are either weary or wary. We have practiced defiant hope; we have continued singing and speaking despite the confusing darkness. We share a hope that is grounded in the resurrection of Christ by virtue of which we are assured that a good God has not abandoned God’s good creation. And so, yes, we’ve been humbled and apocalypsed, but we’ve also been Eastered. What the world needs now, more than anything, is the lived witness of an Easter people.
Since last March, when the shut-down closed all possibilities of touring, I and my staff converted our storeroom into a little video production studio and launched a regular online concert series initially called “Live from the Vault” and later renamed “The Loft Sessions.” Through this new medium I’ve sung to far more people since March than I did in any given year. The series was recently awarded the distinction of “Best New Media” by a Toronto-based film festival.
I also recorded a new album, and wrote a 150-page companion book which guides the listener through the songs much the same as I would in concert via storytelling and reflection. By the time you get this letter, the new album, Wouldn’t You Love to Know?, will be available on CD and vinyl LP as well as all the regular digital platforms. If I may say so, this may well be my favourite album to date. Oddly, though recorded under stressful conditions, it came together with an ease and a flow that I’ve rarely experienced. I’m quite excited for you to hear it.
In addition, we launched an online media channel (see: watch.eventive.org/stevebell) to host the various concert films we’ve produced over the years, with plans for new theme-based concert films like the one we just released to celebrate the new album in along with my 60th birthday.
Increasingly now, I’m being asked to record video presentations for online church services, college chapels, charity fundraisers, and private concerts, etc. It’s quite a bit more work than doing things in person… far more draining, and, of course, the renumeration is significantly less. But along with government programs and donations from you, my supporters, we’ve managed to remain strong while we continue to expand the impact of our work.
So now, more than ever, I covet the support of the wider community—to continue and enhance the work I’ve been doing these past three decades. Even as our ability earn money from CD sales and concerts has eroded, the significance of the work seems to have increased to match the urgency of these days. Your gift to me, both financial resources but also spiritual support has made it an exceptional year in exceptional times. It is my hope that the success we have achieved this year will bear much fruit in the years to come and I look forward to participating with you in this ministry in the time ahead.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your partnership with me in my endeavours to “refresh Christian faith and spiritual tradition for the weary and the wary.”
Thank you so much.
Please remember me as you make plans for your year-end giving. We are probably still more than a year away from gathering together and I will need extra support to bridge the days ahead until I greet you once more from a concert stage.
I miss seeing you so very much. Peace friends,
Message from the Board:
Dear Supporters of Steve Bell,
On behalf of the Steve’s board of advisors, I want to thank each of you for your continuing support of Steve’s ministry, and for your partnership especially in the past year. It has been trying for all of us to varying degrees, and unfortunately fatal and beyond disruptive for many.
The priority for Steve from the early days of the pandemic has been to continue serving, and in his unique and caring way, bring inspiration, comfort, and solace to the community through his music and writing.
That is at the heart of who Steve is, and so consistent with how he has viewed his life’s work from the outset. He stays faithful by using the gifts he has been given for the nurturing of God’s people over the long haul, and in the midst of trying circumstances that arise along the way.
Thank you for staying true to Steve with your support in all ways that made it possible for him to continue on this year. His is looking forward to evolving new and innovative ways to engage his base of supporters and the community at large, which has expanded to include churches, faith based organizations, schools and colleges, globally.
Please be assured all efforts are being made to carefully steward Steve and his ministry through these tumultuous times, and to anticipate all possible scenarios, as we look ahead to a rather uncertain future with faith that the work is good and worthwhile.
His gifts of spiritual guidance and insight, music, poetry, and support to the community as a respected thought leader, continue to make a difference in shaping the culture we live in, by encouraging love for one another, our communities, and God’s earth.
We are confident as his advisors that Steve and Signpost will continue to be vibrant agents of the “The Good Way” long into the future, God willing.
Please stay safe and take good care.
Reynold Martens (Cochrane, AB)
On behalf of the Advisory Board, Jim Richardson (San Francisco), Uli Chi (Seattle) and David Jennings (Vancouver).