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An Attack on HarmonyBy Steve Bishop
On December 19, 2016 a well loved colleague of mine was sitting in a Berlin Christmas Market when someone drove a truck through the area killing many and injuring more. Russell Schulz, my colleague and friend was not killed, but two of his friends were.
Russell served the Seminary of the Southwest for over 30 years. He retired in 2010. I got to the seminary in 2004. As a good Church of Christ boy I wanted to sing in the choir. Russell was the choirmaster, teacher of liturgical music, an editor of the Episcopal Hymnal, and organist for Christ Chapel. He opened himself to us and all who served in the chapel. He began a tradition of hosting a semester party for LGBT students, when it wasn’t a cool thing to do.
I loved singing in the choir with John Bennet Waters and others. Russell invited inclusion. He invited faculty, staff and others to be in the choir. I think he saw the choir as the great equalizer, the place where, in my case your PhD is laid at the door. It was always about the harmony of voices.
I am more aware of my thankfulness for Russell. He could have been killed that night. So, what do I think about in this wake of terror? I do not have a theological insight, or a biblical insight. I’m so grateful that Russell Schulz is alive. He has much more to give the Christian community.
Who is your Russell Schulz? Who has gone out of her or his way to make sure you were included? Give him or her honor and praise. Sacred music heals and inspires us. What song can we sing into the wounds of this attack? Let us thank God for Russell. He is a gift.
Dr. Steve Bishop is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Seminary of the Southwest. Steve served as an ordained minister in the Church of Christ prior to undertaking graduate studies. Steve’s academic interests include the poetry of the Hebrew Bible and literary translations of it into English.
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