Some Free Information About Our Psalm Sings

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Below is an email I sent to our congregation ahead of tonight’s Psalm Sing. FYI.

First the reminder, and then three points of encouragement. We are holding another Flash Psalm Sing today at 5 pm in Friendship Square. I really hope to see you there, along with all of your cousins. Please bring your Cantus, although we will have plenty of song sheets also.

My first encouragement addresses the question “why are we doing this?” What’s the point? This whole thing has been an obvious discussion point within the Christian community since our two psalm sings the week before last, and so I would like to give you a short summary reminder of what this is all about. There are many related issues, but this one is right at the center. Prior to the first psalm sing, the Moscow City Council extended the masking order into January of next year. They did this despite the fact that according to the state of Idaho, Latah County is at minimal risk, and they did it without having any working definition of what actually constitutes a state of emergency. So we are NOT protesting a governmental decision simply because it happens to inconvenience us. We are standing against a governmental decision that was based on no stated or identifiable metrics, and which was therefore capricious, arbitrary, unpredictable, random, and haphazard. We do not live under government without limits, and limits require definitions. So what, in the eyes of our city government, constitutes an emergency? How do they define it? When did we enter that emergency? When will we emerge from it? Does anybody know? At the last city council meeting, we were informed that they were “checking into it.” But you do not put a city into a state of emergency for the better part of a year without having a clear notion of what you mean by “emergency.” We are therefore protesting arbitrary government.

This leads to the second encouragement. Because this is not a matter of personal inconvenience, as though the city contradicted a peculiar doctrine unique to Christ Church alone, it is rather our statement that we believe that NO citizen of Moscow should be asked to live under arbitrary government, with momentous decisions like this made on the basis of vagaries and whims. This is why we are very grateful for all the people from outside our church community who showed up at the first two psalm sings. We have included people from a number of churches, as well as people from the community generally, and have been very grateful for their involvement. My encouragement to you all on this point is to make a point of extending a personal invitation to any of your friends in that category, anyone that you know that might be interested. They are most welcome. At the meeting where they extended the order (without any definition of emergency), the city council ignored input from a broad spectrum of Moscow’s citizens. Our critics have wanted to represent the psalm sings as simply “a Christ Church” thing, which they are not. We took the initiative on it, but all are welcome. Please help us make that welcome personal with personal invitations. We are looking for that same kind of broad spectrum to come and sing with us again.

The third exhortation has to do with the practical side of things. When you arrive at Friendship Square, it should be obvious where the center is going to be. Mark Reagan is going to lead us from the center, and he will have a mic. Please gather around him in a full circle, and after we have all arrived I would like to ask men to form the outer rim of the circle. If we fill up Friendship Square, as I hope to, please spill out to any convenient spot — anything but Main Street. Don’t block the traffic — we aren’t that kind of protest. As before, I would ask that your demeanor be firm, cheerful, resolved, dedicated, and full of joy. We should not be surly, We are Christians. That’s not our bag.

Hope to see you there.