Members form Sabbatarian musicians' association
The writer is an information-technology-systems architect at the Bank of America who has many interests, including music. He lives with his wife, Brenda, in De Soto. The Rosses operate the Music for the Church of God Web site, www.cgmusic.com.
By Jim Ross
DE SOTO, Texas--Composer and singer Robin Todd of Lacey, Wash., has announced the formation of the Bible Sabbath Musicians' Association (BSMA). The BSMA, modeled after the Bible Sabbath Association, is an interdenominational organization of Sabbatarian musicians.
The main purpose of the BSMA is to help build a greater sense of unity and brotherhood among Sabbatarians through the universal language of music, announced Mr. Todd.
"There is a group of us musicians who have a vision," he said. "We want to be examples of cooperation and brotherhood in our community. Music is a universal language. When we visit a different fellowship and hear music we already know, it helps give us a sense of brotherhood and belonging."
The BSMA hopes to serve Sabbatarian Christians by providing a single place to locate musicians for live performances and music written or recorded by Sabbatarian brethren and by providing a place where the musicians can contact and interact with each other about music interests.
Mr. Todd, 49, also envisions the BSMA being active in encouraging, promoting and reporting music events throughout Sabbatarian Christianity. He sees the BSMA:
Credits Giving & Sharing
The idea for an association of Sabbatarian music makers started with Richard Nickels of the Giving & Sharing ministry, Gillette, Wyo. Mr. Nickels, past president and board member of the half-century-old Bible Sabbath Association, said he noticed many talented musicians among the Sabbatarian churches and thought how helpful it would be if their talents could bring greater unity to the Church of God.
At the same time, Mr. Nickels was concerned with how "ill suited to spiritual worship" some new music is, a concern that he says was heightened by a book, The Christian and Rock Music, by Seventh-day Adventist Samuele Bacchiocchi.
Mr. Nickels began to think about ways to promote good music by Sabbatarian musicians within the churches.
He then talked to Robin Todd.
Mr. Todd said Mr. Nickels asked him if he were interested in working to start a musicians' "users' group" in which members of the group could mentor each other and exchange ideas and information.
Mr. Todd and his wife, Liz, had already talked about ways to make better use of their own musical gifts and expand their Two of a Kind Ministries. Mr. Todd accepted the challenge and has taken Mr. Nickels' original idea and run with it to include much more than just interaction among musicians.
The BSMA is just getting started, but more than a dozen composers, performers and other interested parties have signed up.
Membership is open to anyone who would like to promote music among Sabbatarians.
The next steps for the budding association will be a Web site and newsletter.
Mr. Todd was baptized in the Worldwide Church of God in 1982. He and Mrs. Todd and their children, Spencer, 8, and Grace, 6, live in Lacey, near Olympia, Wash., where they attend a Seventh Day Baptist congregation.
Their residence is only a few miles from the epicenter of the recent earthquake that did so much damage in Seattle.
Mr. Todd works for the State of Washington as an unemployment counselor.
He gained most of his music education through singing with dance bands that performed in the Pacific Northwest.
Later he began seeking ways to use his music talent to edify God's people.
Those who have heard his recordings say he has accomplished his goal. His "Wake Me Up" is a descriptive song about the hope of the resurrection.
"There may be reasons some people have for not rubbing elbows with others of different doctrinal position," said Mr. Todd, "but music doesn't usually have such boundaries. As I've said, music is somewhat of a universal language, a place on the right side of the brain where even the cautious and fearful can relax to share feelings, hopes and desires that are common to us all."
The BSMA does not have a motto, but a comment by Mr. Todd might do: "If we can't feel from the heart together, how can we then talk about head things together?'"
Listen to Mr. Todd's music on the Barnabas Ministries Web site, at www.biblestudy.org. Or check out this writer's site, at www.cgmusic.com. Mr. Nickels carries news about the BSMA on the Giving & Sharing Web site at www.giveshare.org/music.
To request a questionnaire to activate your membership in the BSMA, write Mr. Todd at 6413 Stephan Ct. SE, Lacey, Wash. 98503, U.S.A., or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"If you are a pastor," he said, "we would love to hear encouragement you might have for this effort. With the support of our congregations' pastors and ministries, our goal of united musicians in Christ will be much easier to achieve."
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God