The Summer Circuit

I’ve never been able to determine whether the school year or the summer is a busier time.  At least in the realm of the church, the latter season often seems to contain the most chaos.  And this year, that’s proving to be true in my own life as well.

In the broader Reformed world, summer is the season of synods.  The Orthodox Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly convened June 5-10 and included the release of the proposed psalm section of the forthcoming URC/OPC Psalter Hymnal.  (Hopefully more information will be available about the progress of this project in the near future.)  As I write this, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, with whom the URCNA is now in Phase 2 ecumenical relations, is convening its own synod.  And while it’s an “off year” for the URCNA’s synod, this week Mid-America Reformed Seminary is hosting overlapping Pastors’ and Missions Conferences this week with a roster of excellent speakers.

Attendees at the URC Pastors' Conference, meeting as we speak. (Photo credit: Rev. Harold Miller, Kansas City)

Attendees at the URC Pastors’ Conference, meeting as we speak. (Photo credit: Rev. Harold Miller, Kansas City)

Homeschooling always has its unexpected twists and turns, and one of the most ironic is that although I officially graduated on the Saturday before last, I still have piles of remaining homework for my philosophy and world-views course.  It’s fun to brag about having written 2,569 pages of notes, but it’s a little scary to look forward and realize that a few hundred pages more will need to be churned out before summer can truly begin.  Unfortunately, each page of homework that gets written represents a blog post that doesn’t—that’s why the “What’s New” column in the sidebar of URC Psalmody is getting a little stale.

My schedule doesn’t look like it will be lightening up anytime soon, either, but it is full of truly exciting opportunities.  In July I and the other members of the West Sayville youth group will be spending a week in Grand Rapids participating in a Teens Actively Serving Christ mission trip through Reformed Mission Services.  We’ll be hosted by Bethany United Reformed Church in Wyoming, a GR suburb.  Also in July is the week-long Reformed Youth Services Convention, which this year will be held at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  It’s for good reason that these events require all students to abstain from using electronics for the week; however, it also means no blog posts during those times.  During the month of July I hope to accompany the worship services at a few URCNA congregations in the Grand Rapids area, which is always an encouraging experience.  Feel free to contact me if you are interested in these plans.

Geneva College

Geneva College

And I’m thankful to mention that at the end of August I’ll be heading out to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, to continue my education at Geneva CollegeThe Lord has done mighty things in my life thus far, and I am excited to see where he leads me next.   This will probably further limit the extent to which I can continue to manage URC Psalmody.  It may be hard to be so far separated from my physical family and my church family back on Long Island, but at the same time I’m looking forward to the opportunity to spend a few years getting to know my Reformed Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Christ.

As I transition into this new stage of life, I’ll be trying to bring URC Psalmody along for the ride.  At the moment, I am weighing whether a blog remains the most effective and efficient way of carrying on these important discussions on psalm-singing.  The world of social media has exploded with a growing set of tools for sharing thoughts and ideas.  For now, I think the blog will remain, but here are some new branches of URC Psalmody in which you may also be interested:

  • URC Psalmody is indirectly represented on Facebook through the blue Psalter Hymnal’s page.  “Liking” this page will provide you with encouraging excerpts from our beloved psalm and hymn settings, plenty of good recordings of congregational singing, and occasional opportunities for discussion.
  • URC Psalmody’s YouTube channel continues to draw lots of traffic and interaction, and usually at least one or two new videos of Psalter Hymnal recordings or other items of interest are uploaded every week.  You can subscribe to this channel, even if you don’t have a YouTube account, to receive each new video by email.
  • SoundCloud is a less popular but extremely practical online service which allows me to upload audio recordings almost instantly.  Although most of URC Psalmody’s recordings go up on YouTube, you may want to check out our SoundCloud channel as well.
  • Most recently, I joined Twitter, with the intent of utilizing my account primarily to spread news about the URCNA and psalm-singing.  For important tidbits of news that aren’t detailed enough to merit a full blog post, feel free to follow my feed (@MichaelRKearney), which is tied into URC Psalmody’s brand-new News page (accessible through the top navigation).

So I’d like to apologize that things may be getting a little quieter than normal here on URC Psalmody’s blog.  Although our psalm meditations and Featured Recording posts may slip through the cracks, I hope to still maintain our weekly journey through the Heidelberg Catechism.  And taking into account the avenues I’ve mentioned above, where else would you like to see URC Psalmody go in the next month, or in the next year?  Your thoughts are most welcome.

To God be the glory!

–MRK

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2 Responses to “The Summer Circuit”


  1. 1 Ian Barclay August 26, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Hi, I am a fellow psalmody enthusiast and I don’t think I have introduced myself, though I have been following your blog intermittently. I just wanted to encourage you not to give up this blog. This will be a place people can always come to for your reflections and progress on the psalter. Some of the other internet platforms have problems (such as Facebook hiding posts from many viewers) or are simply so cluttered people will miss what you post. I am a small business owner and I am just about ready to give up on Facebook in favor of focusing more attention to my blog.

    Music is only a hobby for me and I don’t have anything online that would interest you at this time; however, I have been enjoying tracking down some obscure 18th century psalm tunes and typesetting them in my spare time. I also have a few Psalm versifications I have done which may or may not be any good.

    • 2 Michael Kearney September 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      Mr. Barclay, thank you so much for the encouragement. As I settle into my studies at Geneva I’m hoping to keep up a regular presence here on URC Psalmody. If you ever have the time to make those psalm tunes and versifications available, I would love to see them.

      Blessings!

      –MRK


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