Don Saliers holds the William R. Cannon Distinguished Chair in Theology and Worship at Emory University and directs the Masters of Sacred Music Program. He is the founder and director of the Emory Chamber Players, and since 1975 has served as the organist and choirmaster for the Sunday service in Emory’s Cannon Chapel.
A half hour before the Sunday morning service begins, St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco already displays the holy chaos that characterizes its worship. In the domed entrance hall a choir is practicing motets.
Though it is hard to imagine the situation in Colombia getting much worse, church leaders and human rights groups are warning that the violence is in fact increasing, and that a “dirty war” like the one in El Salvador in the 1980s and in Chile and Argentina in the 1970s is likely to erupt.
For years church leaders have been looking for ways of conducting church business other than by parliamentary procedure. The politics of voting resolutions up or down, and the practice of following the routines of Robert’s Rules of Order, tends to divide people into winners and losers. Is there another way?
From Baptist to Presbyterian to Orthodox—that’s hardly a conventional trajectory for an American Christian. Even less usual, perhaps, than claiming to be a Christian poet, or being summarily unhired from a Christian university because a single poem was deemed unsuitable by the administration. But Scott Cairns has never managed to be typical.