‘Blessed Be’: Michael Stern shares new music for the 2022 Annual Conference

Michael Stern will be sharing original music during one of the evening concerts planned for the 2022 Annual Conference, taking place in Omaha, Neb., on July 10-14. His presentations at Conference–in addition to the evening concert on July 13–include leading the children’s choir and with his wife, Carol, keynoting the Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) luncheon.

A Church of the Brethren member, composer, folksinger, peace activist, and nurse practitioner in Pacific Northwest District, Stern recently published a new songbook of 22 songs of faith and action under the title “Blessed Be.” It is available both as a songbook and on CD (find links and sample songs at: www.beatinpathpublications.com/MS/home.html).

Stern invites parents and children who will be participating in activities at the Conference to become familiar with the two songs that he will share with the children’s choir.

“I composed ‘God Made Them All’ specifically for the children’s choir this summer. So it’s brand new,” he said. “‘One World’ is the other song we’ll be teaching the kids. Both songs lend themselves to sign language interpretations that kids can learn to express in their own way while we sing. If parents, Sunday school/Christian Ed teachers, or music leaders at local churches want to introduce either or both songs to their congregations, at least some of the kids might have heard the tunes prior to the limited time we’ll have with them at Annual Conference.”

To request music or audio/video links for the two children’s songs, contact Stern via his website at www.mikesongs.net/contact-michael-stern.

Another one of the songs on “Blessed Be” of particular interest to Brethren is “Lest We Forget,” with a touching vignette written by Deanna Brown about the life and ministry of her father Dale Brown.

Stern has traveled extensively while singing and working for peace and justice. His website notes his trips to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, which offer inspiration for the cover art of “Blessed Be.” He studied theology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, received his bachelor and master of science degrees in nursing at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is a Certified Laughter Leader. He recently retired as a Family Nurse Practitioner and research clinician who has focused much of his career on vaccine preventable diseases.

On his many albums, he is joined by various musicians including Eric Smith, William Limbach, Grammy nominated pianist David Lanz, and Jacob Jolliff–who has performed with the former Mutual Kumquat and who was the National Mandolin Champion of 2012.

The photo of Dale Brown at a 2005 peace vigil in Lancaster, Pa., holding a sign from a bumper sticker created by Linda Williams, illustrates the song “Lest We Forget” (photo by Bill Puffenberger).

For more about Michael Stern’s music go to www.beatinpathpublications.com/MS/home.html. Find out about Stern’s concert at the 2022 Annual Conference at www.brethren.org/ac2022/activities/concerts.


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