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Tag Archive: Christ UMC


Katie Buck and Dan Roark

First of all, it was for about five minutes. And, obviously, I wasn’t really Jesus.

I received an email on Saturday from Tina Thompson-Broussard, the Choir Director at Christ UMC, Farmers Branch, saying that she had asked the staff who they thought would play Jesus, and Pam Capener mentioned me. Tina asked if I would be Jesus during a song in the early service on Sunday – no speaking, just acting. The early service begins at 8:50 a.m. so I was to be there at 8:20.

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

I didn’t have a show on Saturday, but we were to turn the clocks forward. It was doable – needless to say, I don’t usually go to the early service. Besides, how many times do you get the chance to be an Irish Jesus? After a few hours deliberation, I replied in the affirmative.

All I knew was that I was to be Jesus. The sermon series is on Jesus Christ Superstar, so as an old hippie, I knew that what I usually wear would probably work. I did have a pair of sandals, just in case. I thought about having my tie-dyed shirt at the ready, but it is the early service and it might not go over.

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

I was getting ready for my role Saturday night. I knew she was looking for the Jesus Christ Superstar Jesus. But I kept falling back into the Eric Clapton Jesus in the Who musical, Tommy, when he walks down the aisle of the church in a white robe playing a Les Paul. But I didn’t have a white robe. I’m just more comfortable with a guitar.

I walked into the church at 8:15, coffee in hand. The choir was practicing in the choir room, so I just hung out in the hallway reading the bulletin board over and over and drinking coffee. After about 4 minutes, Katie Buck walked in and smiled at me

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

like she expected to see me. I commented that it was really early, and she agreed. Katie and her older sister, Lillian, were in youth with our boys. Her father, Charles, led the confirmation class that all the kids went through. So I didn’t think anything about it.

Then Tina walked in the door, put something in the choir room, and took Katie and I to the sanctuary. Then I learned what the plan was. The sermon was entitled “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” We were to do our little “skit” during the Anthem -Kyrie – Schubert Mass in G Major by Franz Schubert. (I know, it surprised me, too – and I was Jesus.)

As the music began, I was to walk up the middle aisle of the sanctuary to the chancel. Where I was to step up on the riser, turn, and stand there “looking Jesus-y.” Then, after so many measures, Katie came up. I turned as she was coming up and faced her when she got there. We looked each other in the eye, then Katie “the fallen woman” (I know – I felt better, too when I learned that) would bow before me, look up, and then back down. I patted her on the shoulder, and helped her up. We looked each other in the eye. Then she looked down again, I reached out and raised her chin, and we looked at each other, Katie looking relieved, and me looking Jesus-y.

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

We practiced it once and Tina asked if we wanted to go through it again. We said we were good. Katie had actually brought a sheet fashioned into a tunic. As you see, I wore my shirt with the fish on it, untucked, and jeans. Before the service began, I went to Charles and Rebecca Buck with Katie.

“I’ve gotta be honest with you,” I was telling them, “I don’t think even Jesus would get up this early. I see him strolling down to the synagogue about noon.”

So I went and sat with Cyndy toward the back, and Katie sat on the front row. The service began. After the scripture reading, the anthem began. I walked up the aisle, turned and looked Jesus-y, Katie came up and we did our thing, and returned to our seats.

After the service, people thought we did well, and it all worked – Katie has done some acting – hence the tunic. While Katie and I were looking at each other, we actually had a conversation with our eyes. And then, just like that, I was plain old Dan again. Which is a good thing. Being Jesus ain’t easy!

Peace be with you.

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Summer NAMM opening party.

Summer NAMM opening party.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable fourth of July weekend. I took the time to catch up on some things, like posts. My son, Cameron, and I went to Nashville a week ago to attend Summer NAMM. NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants. They have Winter NAMM in LA and Summer NAMM in Nashville. They will have one in Russia soon.

The three events are where music merchants – and prospective music merchants – come to show their products to buyers representing companies country-wide (and worldwide in some cases). There are also companies that fall into the category of the House of Worship area. They cater to everyone, but houses of worship in particular. Which is why Cameron and I were there.

We were representing our church, Christ UMC in Farmers Branch. The church is making some changes and we were there for information pertaining to the potential remodeling of the sanctuary. The A/V team, in particular. But don’t get the idea that as a singer-songwriter I couldn’t glean some information and contacts for myself. And having fun at the same time never hurts.

Cameron and I left home at 6 a.m. Thursday morning. We wanted to arrive in time to check into the hotel before going to Music City Center. Hopefully, we’d have some time after picking up our badges to wander around before Charlie Daniels was to play for the opening party. He had been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier in the day.

Which is exactly what we did and how it went. We had time to walk around the exhibit hall and get an idea where we needed to go on Friday morning. Then we went out on the terrace and tried to find shade and not move a lot waiting for things to begin at 6 p.m. The food and drinks were free. Fortunately, Cameron and I were near a food table.

When it was time, we got some fruits and pulled pork sliders. We went to another table later for grilled corn on the cob and other things. There were only a few choices for beer, but when it’s free you just suck it up. They had water as well so that helped.

Charlie Daniels came on while we were eating our sliders. I have yet to hear any outdoor concert sound that is not lacking. Then there is the fact that it was downtown and sound was also bouncing off of the surrounding buildings. We may not have been able to understand him when he talked, but we could hear him when he sang, and that is more important. I haven’t seen Charlie Daniels in thirty years and he still sounds the same. They played a great set. We went back to the hotel, watched the Rangers game, and called it a day.

Peace be with you.

Pastor Cassie Wade introducing me

Pastor Cassie Wade introducing me

I would like to thank the congregation of Jacksboro FUMC for their gracious welcome, and their generosity with the love offering at my show. They invited Cyndy and I to worship with them at the service, and I sang Follow the Angels for the offertory and played on the two closing hymns. Following the service, Pastor Cassie Wade and her husband, Kelly, served lunch at the parsonage for the four of us, and Karlene Boucher, the Choir Director. We had a nice visit over a lunch of hamburgers and potato salad, with strawberries, angel food cake, and whipped cream for dessert.

Cyndy and I have known Cassie and Kelly for years. Among other things, it was a day of Dan Roark playing in worship service 1-31-'16interesting facts and occurrences. My family lived on Hollandale Avenue in Wichita Falls in the late ‘60s. It turns out that Karlene Boucher lives on Hollandale – and has for many years -although after we lived there. She drives down on Wednesdays and Sundays to Jacksboro.

But wait, there’s more. While we were in the worship service, our granddaughter, Kelley, was sitting with the Wade’s daughter, Amber, and her daughter (the Wade’s granddaughter – if you’re keeping score), at our home church, Christ UMC, Farmers Branch. Our son, Cameron, was keeping an eye on Kelley from the A/V booth. Interesting, is it not?

Dan Roark show at FUMC 1-31-'16 fMy show was from 3-4 p.m. The audience was very receptive and attentive. It made performing for them all that much more enjoyable. A number of them had very kind words after the show. I will share a video of some of the show when it’s complete.

Peace be with you.

Dan at CUMC 3At my one man show at Christ UMC a couple of weeks ago, I played my newest song, Hello Out There, for the first time in public. Introducing the song, I explained that there were various members of church families that were on the autistic spectrum. I was not personally familiar with autism untill a few years ago. I noticed the symptoms in a few of the children, but did not know it was autism.

A college student at church was helping with the Autism center at UNT in Denton and facilitated a program at church with a director of an autism program who had autistic children. After that I began to realize how varied the autism spectrum is. If you do not know, the autistic spectrum stretches from those who are highly functioning to those who are low functioning. Those who are highly functioning need steady, but only slight, intervention by others. Those who are low functioning, on the other hand, need almost constant attention.

I have witnessed incidents at church over the years with some of the children. A few days after one particularly violent episode, I had a conversation with the child’s father. I asked him how the child was and he told me that he wished he could get inside the child’s head to know what the child was thinking. I kept thinking about that because, as a songwriter and author, that’s what I do – think about things.

I do not have any insight into an autistic person’s state of mind. But, having stuttered all my life, I know what it’s like to live in one’s own head. And that’s what led me to write the song, Hello Out There. It can be found here.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

The Children’s Education Department of Christ UMC, Farmers Branch held the first summer children’s camp this summer, Rock Around the Clock. The camp was held for one week, Monday through Thursday. Monday they learned about the 50’s, Tuesday, the 60’s, Wednesday, the 70’s, and Thursday, the 80’s. Each day they had cooking, drama, P.E., art, science, and music classes, based on the day’s theme.

In art class one day, the children went into the sanctuary. They each picked a number out of a bowl and were assigned that station of the cross. The children were given five minutes to study their station window in the sanctuary. Then the children went outside the sanctuary and recreated their window on paper from memory.

As I was taking pictures of the Stations of the Cross art display, I recalled a project from elementary school in Wichita Falls. I was to draw the front of our family home from memory. I do not know how long it took, but I finished the drawing. It is highly possible that the drawings were displayed at an open house – as with the art gallery of summer camp projects.

When I took the drawing home and compared it to the front of our house, I was “right on the money” – down to the oil stain in the driveway. With the exception of drafting classes in junior high school, along with drawing imaginary funny cars and hot rods for fun with a friend, I  never drew anything really decent again. We moved to Dallas when I was in the eighth grade. In high school I began to write, leaving the artwork to those better suited for the task. I can doodle with the best of them, but anything resembling art that results is merely by accident.

Our house burned down on the Friday before I began my senior year. Of the many things I lost that night, the picture I had drawn was one of them. My parents recently went back to Wichita Falls and the house we lived in was gone. There was not even any sign that the house had ever been there. All the homes around it were still there and in fairly good condition, considering their age.

I had a sinking feeling when Dad told me the house was gone, as if a part of my life was gone. I am left without a visual reminder of our house other than my memory. It is not the first time and it certainly will not be the last. But it does remind me – and everyone when it happens to them – that material things mean nothing as long as we have our memory and faith in God.

It is our memory that makes our past experiences special and real. Even if I could take our sons to Wichita Falls and show them the house, they would not have a sense of what it meant to me. It would simply be the house where Dad used to live. But the memory of living in that house will remain special to me. And that is what is important. If my existence depended on the existence of places I have lived and have been to, a good part of my life would be wiped from the annals of history.

When the house burned, I lost everything I had except the clothes on my back and a small stereo that I had in the bathroom to listen to while taking a shower. As I stayed at a friend’s house  the night of the fire I had a strange sense of freedom. I was not tied down with possessions. Then I would begin to think of everything I had lost and the sense of freedom would turn to sorrow. It has been several decades now since that night. I have stuff again – too much stuff. Between the fire, a couple of robberies – and a rare repossession a really long time ago – I worry about my stuff. I cringe when I smell smoke of any kind except a grill. I’m slightly paranoid about checking the locks when I leave the house.

But with relatives, friends, associates, and acquaintances passing away with disturbingly increasing frequency, life – and material things – look a little differently now. Material possessions do not have the allure they did when I was younger. Books that I lugged around for years because I thought I would read them someday are now in someone’s home having been bought in a garage or library book sale. The objects I held onto because “they might come in handy some day,” never came in handy and have been recycled or given away.

With each passing day, I make the most of that day and I am thankful that I have my memories. Losing everything from my past in the fire did not mean I lost my past. I remember it, have pictures of some of it, friends and family remember parts of my past. But the emphasis lies on the fact that I remember it. Possessions, houses where I lived, clubs where I played, places I visited – they may be gone – but that does not matter. I have my memories and I can describe them to people. Maybe they can get something out of them. But I remember them, have faith in God, and have an appreciation for the life he gave me. Either things will take care of themselves or God will guide me through them. Anything else is just gravy.

I hope everyone had, and is having, a wonderful Easter. Fortunately, the rain held off here until after the third and final service of the morning. The sunrise service at Jaycee Park and the two services in the sanctuary were glorious celebrations of the risen Christ. Our music department at Christ UMC in Farmers Branch, is one of the best around and proved it once again this morning. From Trevor Shaw and Will Nieberding during the sunrise service to the Christ Alive Band, the Children’s Choir, the Celebration Ringers, and the Easter Choir (Celebration Choir and Sunshine Gospel Singers) in the worship services, the music was excellent.

Bob Spencer ruminated on Judas and Peter – the two pivotal figures of Christ’s final days in human form – during his message at the sunrise service. Pastor Kenny Dickson gave an inspirational sermon on Resurrection faith during the two worship services. The United Methodist Men served a delicious pancake breakfast in the gym following the sunrise service.

The rain began immediately after the 11 a.m. service as everyone was going to their cars. A couple of hours later we heard the loudest thunderclap we have heard in quite some time. It seemed to rip the sky apart. It immediately reminded me of the tearing of the “curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple” down the middle as Jesus “breathed his last.” No doubt I felt closer to God for two reasons today. Hallelujah, Christ is risen!

Peace be with you.

What do an alumni e-newsletter, a Holocaust museum, and gusto have in common? They are past, current, and ongoing projects of RCC D-FW Chapter members. The December DFW Chapter meeting, held this year at Christ UMC in Farmers Branch, is traditionally a time of sharing the year’s accomplishments and trials. The Chapter furnished the lunch and presented each member with a gift (chocolate covered pecans). Members shared samples of their best work, some of which they are considering entering in next year’s DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards, to be awarded at the RCC Convention in April in Philadelphia.

Alice Dykeman, of Dykeman Associates, Inc., discussed her past year’s work. Her current intern, Emrah Yildiz, is no stranger to the group, having attended meetings for several months. Dykeman also introduced her guest, Reverend Charles Curliss. Rev. Curliss is founder and pastor of The One Church. Debbie Tull, marketing and advertising consultant, brought the group up to date on her work at Patheos.com. Patheos.com is the premier online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world’s beliefs.” Tull explained that, in an effort to be all-inclusive, the website has recently added an atheist channel. They also created Patheos Press to publish e-books. The site has titles already available.

Tim McLemore, Associate Director of Public Affairs at Perkins School of Theology, presented each member with a Perkins marketing eco-sack containing a folder with informational brochures. The Begin Your Journey With Us brochure, a recent addition introducing the school to potential students, illustrates the diversity among faculty and students. McLemore displayed the Perkins website, concentrating on the alumni pages – specifically, the Perkins Precis, an e-newsletter for Perkins alumni/ae. Even before he took the page and e-newsletter live, McLemore was contacted by alumni who had searched on Google, found the page, and asked to be put on the list.

Chris Kelley, principal of The Kelley Group and PR Consultant with the Dallas Holocaust Museum, provided clips from the video of his interview with Frank Risch. Risch was the 2011 Honoree at the museum’s Hope for Humanity dinner. His parents, Herbert and Irma Risch, fled Nazi Germany in 1937 to escape the Holocaust. Risch has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance (DHM/CET) for nearly twenty years. “He has been instrumental in transforming the organization from a memorial and resource center located in the Jewish Community Center to a creative museum in the West End Historic District.” The clips were emotionally moving, leaving the room in momentary silence.

Kay Champagne shared the work she and fellow chapter member, Sharon Chapman, have been doing to market the King Of Glory (KOG) Lutheran Church’s Gusto! series. “Gusto! Is a Life Group at KOG for the mature adult community (all are welcome) that creates and promotes enrichment programs that stimulate intellectual growth and expand personal interactions in a supportive and nurturing Christian environment.” Past guest speakers were Martin Marty, Walter Brueggemann, and a series of speakers on Dwight D. Eisenhower. A Holocaust survivor will speak in January, and the group will visit the Dallas Holocaust Museum in February.

During lunch, between small talk and presentations, members of the group discussed the changes in communications methods over the years. From the manual typewriter and mimeograph machines to bulky pcs running on MS-DOS and floppy discs to smartphones that have more power than previous mainframe computers. Several members admitted to still having outdated equipment in a closet or garage. Yet reminiscence is not indicative of a willingness to re-live the times discussed. It is simply a fondness for days that, while they were perhaps simpler, were also the stepping stones to the lives we know and enjoy now.

The meeting was an appropriate ending to the year. It went over the allotted time, due to the continually interesting conversations. Members shared pride and appreciation for past accomplishments as well as excitement for current and future projects. Members left with smiles and exclamations of Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, looking forward to another year in the world of communication.

Peace be with you.

The monthly meeting of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) will be held on Thursday, September 22, at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch. Alice Dykeman APR, principal with Dykeman Associates, Public Relations Consultants, (and charter member of the chapter) will talk about how to establish and operate a successful intern training program. She is a seasoned veteran in Public Relations and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America in Public Relations.

Dykeman has mentored many young people who desired to learn the art, practice, ethics and business of Public Relations. She will share where she finds interns, what and how she teaches them and give some ideas of how others can do the same. Dykeman Associates was established in 1974 and is a full service advertising, public relations and marketing firm. Services include crisis planning, video production, media relations, media and presentation training.

The meeting will be held from 12 – 1:30 p.m. and the $15 fee includes both lunch and presentation. Please RSVP to Deb Christian, dchristian@umr.org (214.630.6495 x147) by close of business on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith association of more than 500 religion communicators working in print and electronic communication, advertising and public relations. Recent meetings have been held at the Biblical Arts Museum and the Holocaust Museum.

Peace be with you.

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