Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fire at Little Portion Hermitage

This is a personal post unrelated to the ministry of Trinity Church.

This morning I learned of a major fire at Little Portion Hermitage in Berryville, Arkansas, the monastic community founded by John Michael Talbot and the home of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. It destroyed several buildings, all the community's archives and books, and all the stock of Troubadour for the Lord, the music label and publishing house founded by John Michael. It is a very significant loss for this faith community and my prayers are with them. Thanks be to God that no lives were lost and no one was seriously injured.

John Michael Talbot has been the musical inspiration for a generation of Christian singer-songwriters; I count myself among them though my abilities are meager and my efforts nonprofessional. His contemplative style formed my own musical tastes and direction and has made its way into church services and hymnals around the world. Perhaps you've heard or sung Come, Worship the Lord, John Michael's setting of Psalm 95.

I know that the community will receive a tremendous outpouring of love and concern and will certainly rebuild as financial constraints allow. As they even now look to the future I join my prayers with countless others:

Almighty God, who through your Son taught us not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth but rather in heaven where nothing can destroy: Bless your servants John Michael and the Brothers and Sisters of Charity who have renounced earthly goods for the sake of the Kingdom; provide for their needs, give them the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit, and grant that their lives may give witness to the bounties of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. is a link to John Michael Talbot's blog which contains the latest news and photographs of the fire.

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