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Free Stuff

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.

Enjoy!

Store

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: My Burden Is Light: A Pastor’s Plea for Rationality, Honesty, and Humility.

About

 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.

Surely You Know the Change I Need

I wrote a new hymn for the first Sunday in Lent. (It goes with my sermon, “Time for a Change“.)

Exhortations to change are a big part of the Christian tradition: change your heart, change your mind, change your life. Traditionally we’ve used the word repent for that; repent is the usual translation of Jesus’ exhortation in biblical Greek, μετανοεῖτε, which presumably was a translation of something Jesus said in Aramaic. But however we ended up with that word, I think it’s inadequate. Repent has all kinds of sorry associations: it’s what one does while sitting in sackcloth and ashes, overcome with remorse, perhaps punishing oneself for one’s misdeeds. And sometimes, yes, change begins with remorse—but not always.

These are the words of the hymn:

Surely You Know the Change I Need

Surely you know the change I need;
help me to know it too.
Free me of all my lethargy
and show me the path to you, to you,
and show me the path to you.

When I am wrong, oh help me feel
fully a right remorse.
Then help me leave remorse behind
and find me a better course, a course,
and find me a better course.

Mover of all, may I be moved,
cherishing every chance,
Ready to hear you say my name
and call me to join the dance, the dance,
and call me to join the dance.

Ready to fly, the wild goose waits,
ready to sprout, the seed.
So make me ready, God of life
for changes you know I need, I need,
for changes you know I need.

As always, sheet music for Surely You Know the Change I Need is available in our Free Stuff Area. Also, you can see and hear it being sung for a church service here.

By |February 19, 2024|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|0 Comments

Keep My Head above the Wave

A merry and mystical new year to all!

I wrote a song this week, a song I’d like to share with you. It’s partly a prayer for God’s help in not drowning. (My daughter is now serving in the USCG, so I always pray “for those in peril on the sea.”) But it’s also partly a prayer for God’s help in another kind of peril: coping with depression.

However you hear it, I hope it will bless you.

Adam

By |January 7, 2024|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|2 Comments

O Mother of Music

Hello, Merry Mystics! Here’s a new hymn for Advent. You can learn more about the O Antiphons here, and more about the hymn tune Ebenezer here. The words of the hymn are these:

O Mother of Music

O mother of music! O father of harmony!
Lost in a cacophony to thee we cry.
Though roughened our voices by noisy iniquity,
Hear, singer and savior, our sibilant sigh.
Come, sing us again the song we have forgotten,
Come, teach us again our high, heavenly parts!
Your hand on the harp-strings, your touch on the tuning pegs,
Your beautiful music infusing our hearts. 

O water of healing! O fountain of love and life!
Unbearably thirsty, for mercy we cry.
Once growing and green, we wilt under the sultry sun,
Once gracing your garden, we harden and dry.
Come now like a rainstorm, rise now like a river,
Soak into the soil and reach into the roots!
Your heavenly fountain, mounting to eternal life,
Your waters arriving, reviving green shoots. 

O light of the dawning! O hope of the weary world!
We wander in darkness, in need of your aid.
Grim now is the heart and faint under the force of death,
Cold, heavy and hopeless, alone and afraid.
Come, brighten the night with your radiant wonder,
Come, guide us along with your heavenly light!
Let never again our way wander away from you,
Let hope to our hearts return, let it burn bright. 

And, as always, sheet music for O Mother of Music is available in our Free Stuff Area.

By |December 5, 2023|Categories: music, The Merry Mystic|0 Comments

Confessions of a Heretical Author

Hello, merry and mystical friends!

In this video I make an embarrassing confession, and then I introduce my new book: My Burden Is Light: A Pastor’s Plea for Rationality, Honesty, and Humility. The book was a labor of love; special thanks go to the reading group at the Open Prairie United Church of Christ in Princeton, Illinois, who read and discussed an early draft. They put up with me as their pastor, even though I am both a wild-eyed Christian mystic and a skeptical and irreverent heretic. (But I don’t suppose Merry Mystic subscribers will be surprised on either count!)

By |November 7, 2023|Categories: books, music, The Merry Mystic|2 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.

The Sermon for Today

Sometimes, we pay so much attention to our own churchy customs that we neglect the way of Jesus. I used two “texts” for this sermon: Amos 5:21-24, and an episode of the Andy Griffith Show (season 4, episode 4: “The Sermon for Today”). The television clip is omitted here, for reasons of copyright, but it’s worth looking up!

By |April 21, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

Fish Sandwich

The author of the Gospel of Luke thought it was very important that Jesus appeared after the resurrection, not just as a vision but in the flesh. He also thought that, after the resurrection, Jesus gave the church a mission and the special authority to carry it out. I disagree.

By |April 14, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

Ride On

Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem was part of his work of standing against the rule of Rome and Rome’s collaborators—and standing instead for the divine rule of God.

By |March 24, 2024|Categories: sermons|0 Comments

Mindful Within and Without

The prophet Jeremiah longed for a day when we all could find God already written on our hearts. Mary Oliver would add this: that we can also find God already written in the natural world—the signature of the Creator in all creation.

By |March 17, 2024|Categories: sermons, uncategorized|0 Comments
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