*Available for purchase at saint benedict’s table, beginning on Sunday May 10
A bit of advance notice on a new book by Jamie Howison and Steve Bell, to be given a “soft release” at Steve’s upcoming May 8 and 9 Pilgrim Year Conference at Canadian Mennonite University – we’ll also have copies available at the church starting on Sunday May 10 – and then launched with a full release event in the autumn. Titled I Will Not Be Shaken: a Songwriter’s Journey through the Psalms, the book is a companion to a new compilation CD of all of Steve’s psalm-based songs, which also includes one brand new song, “Come to My Help O God,” based on the opening verse of Psalm 70.
The idea for this book is not a new one. Back in 2004, Steve and Jamie began to talk about working on a book that would combine Steve’s stories of what inspired these songs with a series of pastoral/theological reflections on each song/psalm by Jamie. Over the years a fair bit of preliminary writing was done for the project, yet for various good reasons the idea ended up on the proverbial back-burner… until this past winter, when things finally aligned in a way that made it possible to move things into full gear.
Along with Jamie’s reflection pieces and Steve’s songwriter’s notes, each chapter also includes song lyrics and the full psalm text from The Book of Common Prayer; a poetic and evocative 16th Century translation by Myles Coverdale.
Jamie Howison’s tone is wonderfully conversational, gently firm, close to daily trials as well as breathing the psalms themselves. The whole combination of brief, pointed meditations and references to Steve’s song-writing has a lively in-touch-with-life, genuine bluegrass feel to it.
— Calvin Seerveld, Professor Emeritus, Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto
This is the perfect way truly to HEAR the Psalms — with scholarship and music, with mind and heart, with intelligence and emotion, with our whole unified soul!
— Marva Dawn, theologian, speaker, and author of Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down
To hold in my hands such mature and ripened fruit from this creative and pastoral partnership is great gift indeed. In this timely and deeply needed project Jamie and Steve open our hearts to face what it means to be complex emotional humans on a spiritual journey.
— Brian Doerksen, JUNO award winning singer/songwriter, professor at Prairie College
This book is a window into a three-way conversation; the formal tone of the Coverdale translation, Jamie Howison’s hospitable way of orienting us to the big picture and Steve Bell’s open-hearted storytelling. All the while, the songs play on in the background, renewed and enlivened by the exchange.
— Kalyn Falk, Spiritual Director and author of I Am Here: Six Postures of Prayer
From a priest with a scholarly mind and contemplative spirit, and a masterful songwriter with a pastor’s soul, I Will Not Be Shaken is a “behind the scenes” look at some of Bell’s much-loved songs and the ancient psalms that inspired them. This book orients readers towards worship and cultivates wisdom, faithfulness, patience, and hope in God’s unending love.
— Kurt Armstrong, author of Why Love Will Always be a Poor Investment