Reverb and Dave Matthews Band Bama Green Project

Have you read Laudato Si’’ ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME by Pope Francis? Applause if you have and completed it. I’m only at section 64 of 240 sections. Obviously I can’t speak too in depth about it. So far I under stand we should be more aware of our environment and help to care for it.

We must be grateful for the praiseworthy efforts being made by scientists and engineers dedicated to finding solutions to man-made problems. But a sober look at our world shows that the degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey, even as technological advances and consumer goods continue to abound limitlessly. We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves.

Yes! I love volunteering! I found a pretty cool organization called Reverb, that I recently volunteered for. They are definitely making some moves to change the impact music tours have on our environment. Austin is know for live music and amazing concerts. So Reverb coming through helps with band tours help our community greatly.

REVERB is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2004 by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband, Adam Gardner of Guster. REVERB creates and executes comprehensive, custom programs to green the tour itself while engaging concertgoers to take action for the environment.

Pretty cool huh? I had the opportunity to volunteer with them for the Bama Green Project for the Dave Matthews Band 2 sets tour, at the 360 Amphitheater Circuit of the Americas. Some of the things they do consist of setting up Eco Villages, encouraging recycling, providing bands with aluminum reusable water bottles to refill, switching the tour busses to biodiesel, just to name a few. But so much work and planning goes into these tours. The volunteer coordinator explained to us that our volunteer t-shirts and the merchandise were designed about a year in advance. Organic merchandise, shirts made out of recycled materials.

Johnson’s Backyard Garden was the local organic farm they partnered with. As a volunteer, I helped sell these awesome water bottles, made from recycled materials, before the concert started. The money that was raised selling the water bottles was donated to Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Then the monetary value of organic produce from JBG was donated to the Austin Food Bank. So much done for the local community!  Oh, and by volunteering, I got general admission into the concert. I highly recommend volunteering with them when they come through your town.

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Music Ministry Monday: “Something Beautiful”

Good Day y’all! It’s Monday and the weather isn’t so great outside. My pup and I definitely didn’t want to get out of bed, but you know the world continues on. image

Last week I started the K-Love 30 day challenge, listening to Christian music for 30 days straight. It’s actually a challenge I take every year. I find it just a great way to start my new year off with positive thoughts and God in my heart. So far one of my favorite songs is “Something Beautiful,” by Steven Curtis Chapmam.

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In the song, Chapman, tells a story of something most people experience in life. A story of having a plan that doesn’t always turn out how you want it to. Through a catchy lyrics he explains we need to trust in God,

“so put it all in the hands of the Father. Give it up, give it all over to the only one who can turn it into something beautiful, something really beautiful”

This weekend I had an opportunity to attend St. Ignatius’s Young Professionals retreat. It was short, just Saturday afternoon, but time well spent. The Deacon had us read a few different verses and then had create a Spirituality Timeline. Asking us to think back and write our story, events, relationships, moments, challenged, sadness, happiness that define us. Ultimately, answering, if you were God, how would you see yourself or describe yourself?

Our small group discussion really opened my eyes to the fact that pretty much everyone feels lost sometimes, but eventually when you look back even as crazy aimages things may have been or may still be, it is something beautiful God already planned for us. Of course,

“For I know the thoughts that I think over you, says the Lord: thoughts of peace and not of affliction, so that I may give you patience and an end,” Jeremiah 29:11