We’re Getting the Band Back Together

It’s kind-of like the Blues Brothers, but without all the conning, begging, pleading, and cops.

The #covidrestrictions that have attacked my industries [live music and church] have been stomped on all the things I love about both: gathering large groups of people, singing together, indoor venues. Let me tell you, March, April and May were pretty depressing for me, musically. I was relegated to playing Facebook live shows because there were no other venues open. Online solo shows and worship services were my only option.


We’ve been holding worship online exclusively for 6 months now. We all know why. #coviddecisions #coviddisappointments Mostly, it has been myself, Kernsey, Minister of Music, leading worship on acoustic guitar, but the summer featured a +1 in the worship music “team.” This has been a wonderful addition for me, personally, as I thrive on making music WITH people. Sometimes it has been another guitar, sometimes percussion, sometimes additional vocals.

Since our former worship home, The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, closed because of said hashtags [also, SAD hashtags] and later because of damage from civil unrest [being next door to Minneapolis’ 3rd police precinct] we have been leading worship in a livestream while broadcasting from The Squirrel Haus Arts a few blocks away. This has allowed us to leave equipment setup from week to week, and allowed Pastor Holly to preach from the front gallery while I/we make music in the middle gallery.  #sociallydistanced #coviddecisions

What If

An idea came up: What if we could setup a full band and lead worship while utilizing the Squirrel Haus’ high ceilings and expansive spaces of the back workshop and middle gallery? With all Squirrel Haus events cancelled for the year, this could be a real possibility.

Where God Guides, God Provides

Hey, check it out, the Minneapolis ELCA Synod is offering an “Imagination Grant” specifically for covid-related projects. A bit of research on some equipment and a grant proposal later and we received a headphone amplifier, 6 sets of headphones and a digital interface. [Special thanks goes to Craig Pederson at the Synod office for making this happen!]

A few hundred trips from storage to the Squirrel Haus later and we have all our rehearsal equipment setup AT LEAST 10 FEET FROM EACH OTHER and the bands are actually rehearsing music together again. Michael at the Squirrel Haus graciously setup black curtains surrounding each musician’s station and we have started decorating things to prepare for the big day: September 13, 2020.

Getting this band back together was the easy part.  We were all dying to make music together again.

This coming Sunday will be the first full-band worship service Spirit Garage has experienced since March 8.  Almost exactly 6 months since we started counting #coviddisappointments, we’ve pivoted again to include something in worship that I am passionate about: A Rock Band. Our longtime worship band, 3 on the Tree, will kick off the occasion with songs by Jonathan Rundman, Jimmy Eat World, Shane & Shane, Julie Lee and Spirit Garage originals.

For a Minister of Music who thought his industries were sunk, this is a tremendous light at the end of a long, strange trip-of-a-tunnel.  Please tune in on Facebook, Twitter, or Periscope this Sunday at 10:30 as 3 on the Tree returns to a Spirit Garage worship service making rock music for God—the very reason the band was started 20 years ago.