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My sheet music and other free resources are available here. Just follow this link, and enter your Merry Mystic password when requested.

These things are under a Creative Commons license that allows you to download them and copy them freely—for any non-commercial use.


I have books, CDs, and a video series for sale from my store page. (I wish I could just give everything away, but one must eat!)

I’m especially excited about my new book, now available: Wolf at the Door.


 Adam Brooks Webber
Adam Brooks Webber
When I was a boy, I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could A) move away from small-town Illinois and B) stop going to church. Consequently, I am now a pastor in a small town in Illinois.

Merry, Mystical Missives

Here you’ll find everything I’ve sent out to the mailing list for The Merry Mystic.

A Song from Sunday: Fear Not, Said the Angel

We didn’t have much of a sermon in church this Sunday, but I read some scripture and sang some songs. Here’s one part: I read a few of the many places in Bible stories where God tells people not to be afraid, and then I sang my song, “Fear Not, Said the Angel”. My wife Kelly sang the song with me.

By |July 9, 2023|Categories: music|0 Comments

A Song from Sunday: Be True

We didn’t have much of a sermon in church this Sunday, but I told some stories and sang some songs. Here’s one: the story of the baptism of my children, and the song I wrote for the occasion, “Be True”.

By |July 9, 2023|Categories: music|0 Comments


Hello, Merry Mystics!

I’ve been participating in an online Lenten retreat at the Abbey of the Arts. This week, there was a beautiful song called “You Can Rest Now” by Trish Bruxvoort Colligan, with a lovely interpretive dance by Betsey Beckman (from her “Monk in the World” series). It got me thinking about rest.

Now, maybe I shouldn’t be writing to you about this subject, because when it comes to rest, I suck. I usually take Mondays away from my job at the church, but I have a long to-do list at home. On Monday last week, however, the first thing on the list was going to Peoria to see a specialist about the arthritis in my hands. He gave me some injections, which made my hands feel even worse, temporarily: tender and achy. So when I got home, I thought, “Well, I should train—but I can’t, because of my hands. I should lift weights—but I can’t, because of my hands. I should practice the piano—but I can’t, because of my hands. I should fix the hot-water intake on the washing machine—but I can’t, because of my hands. I should do some writing—but I can’t, because of my hands.” Finally, I just got myself a glass of port, and sat in a chair, and read a fun book. The cat came and sat in my lap, and I petted her, gently. And that was the rest of my day.

Now I’m ashamed to tell you that story—ashamed to admit that I needed to be temporarily disabled in order to justify really resting for half a day. But: do as I say, not as I do! Don’t be like me—and if you’ll do that, I try not to be so much like me either. To help me turn over a new leaf, I wrote this hymn about rest, sending myself the message I need to hear.


I claim this calm and quiet space
    and snuggle, sure in your embrace,
    beneath your warming sun.
In gratitude I let me rest,
    as you did on the day you blessed,
    when all your work was done.

It’s not because I’ve earned a break
    by all the rest I never take,
    or all that I achieve.
It’s just a gift God gives to me,
    which I must never claim to be
    too busy to receive.

God loves us when we run our race,
    and make the world a better place,
    and triumph in the test.
But love can never be reduced
    to things achieved or goods produced:
    God loves the soul at rest.

Like bee beneath the cowslip’s bell,
    like otter on the ocean’s swell,
    like robin in the nest,
like baby taking peaceful nap,
    like cat asleep in sunny lap,
    I too may take my rest.

As always, sheet music for this hymn is available in our Free Stuff area.

Restful blessings!

By |March 17, 2023|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|2 Comments

Transfiguration Shows the Flame

Before I became a pastor, Transfiguration Sunday always used to bother me. I didn’t like the way the transfiguration story (Mark 9:2-8, Matthew 17:1-8, and Luke 9:28-36) was treated in church. The churches I attended were always progressive churches, more or less, so the preacher never explicitly insisted that this story is historically accurate. But they engaged with it as if it might well be a factual account.

That’s sensibly politic, in a church environment where at least some of your congregation will be offended if you refer to this or any other passage of scripture as a “legend.” But sensibly politic, in this case, is just weasely and dishonest. The events in the transfiguration story are highly supernatural. They strain credulity, and there is no confirmation from credible witnesses. The sequence of events doesn’t seem to fit particularly well with the rest of the gospel stories—for example, the disciples go on to behave just as cluelessly about Jesus after witnessing this event as they did before. And if the police interrogated these texts, they would be particularly suspicious that Peter, James, and John didn’t tell anyone about these events at the time. The police would guess that this story was invented later—after Jesus was executed, apparently—and you know what the police think of witnesses who change their story.

I would say that this story is obviously more legend than history. We shouldn’t try to read it as an accurate journalistic account of an event in Jesus’ life. Instead, we should read it as a story that our faith ancestors told and retold, polishing it up until it shone, because it captured something important they believed about Jesus. Taken that way, it works for me too. It captures something I believe about Jesus—and about all of us, his fellow children of God.

Transfiguration Shows the Flame

Each life we live will leave a trace
of human grief on human face.
In Jesus’ face we trace those lines,
and yet his graceful spirit shines.

The sound is cold, confused, uncouth,
when human voice speaks human truth.
In Jesus’ human, warming word
the voice of God is also heard.

Our human hands may curse or bless,
attack, defend, assault, caress.
But Jesus’ work-hard hands embrace
with holy love our human race.

Transfiguration shows the flame
of God within the human frame.
As Jesus did, now help us too,
O Light Divine, to shine with you.

I’ve set this to the tune of Conditor Alme, which is an ancient church melody (Sarum plainsong, mode IV). Here’s my friend Ron McCutchan singing it.

As always, sheet music is available in our Free Stuff area.

By |February 16, 2023|Categories: uncategorized|3 Comments

These are the (mostly video) messages sent out to The Merry Mystic mailing list.

Sermons and Such

Every week, I preach in the Open Prairie United Church of Christ in Princeton, Illinois. I’m not sending most of these out to The Merry Mystic mailing list; but on the outside chance you’d like to see a sermon, here they are.

Welcome, Jonah!

The book of Jonah is a comic masterpiece, and Jonah himself is both a warning and a comfort to all of us. This sermon includes a dramatic interpretation of a part of the book of Jonah, and ends with the hymn, “Welcome, Thomas, Doubts and All,” which has a verse about Jonah. The hymn-sing is led by Ron McCutchan. (Sheet music for “Welcome, Thomas, Doubts and All” is available in our Free Stuff area.)

By |September 24, 2023|Categories: music, sermons|0 Comments

Quaker Simplicity

As a student at the Earlham School of Religion, I learned some great lessons from the Quaker tradition. Here’s one of my favorites: simplicity.

By |August 20, 2023|Categories: sermons|0 Comments


Here’s a reading (the story of the feeding of the five thousand), a sermon, and communion, all together. Viewer participation is welcome!

By |August 6, 2023|Categories: sermons|0 Comments
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