For many years, Swedeborgian minister and musician Rev. Ken Turley has integrated musical expression with his pastoral work, as well as his personal spiritual journey. In a series of beautifully arranged videos, containing a variety of his pieces, Rev. Turley is providing an opportunity for individuals, as well as groups and congregations, in-person and in virtual group settings, to meditate on spiritual topics through an audio-visual experience which is easily accessed at any time. Below, he shares some thoughts about this project and how it may be of benefit to you and your congregation:
As a worship and small group leader from many years I have both enjoyed and made use of a number of different kinds of media to focus attention and explore theological subjects and spiritual life. At the same time, I had my own ideas about what I would like to have available.
This led to my proposal to develop a number of videos with original, gentle and meditative music as a background for visual images and text on specific themes related to the beauty of creation, Biblical correspondence and spiritual growth. With the help of a New Directions grant I have created a series of meditational music videos that are now available and free to use in whatever way might be useful.
It is my hope that these musical imagaic videos will find usefulness in a variety of ways. For one thing, they can be used by individuals as starting points for personal meditation or even simple enjoyment to create or enhance a mood of thoughtful peacefulness. Secondly, they can serve the same purpose for community worship and small group discussions. They are particularly useful for on-line virtual presentations. I would introduce the subject, mentioning the specific items, images or concepts that are important. Then I would invite participants to meditate on the video. At it’s completion, given a moment of quiet time to gently return to the present, I would invite people to share thoughts and reactions, anything that came as a new realization or understanding, and finally, how the images and concepts, and particularly the message of the correspondences speak to their lives.
It is important to recognize that there are a number of different kinds of videos in the collection: some are simply quiet music with a series off photos on a specific theme, usually one aspect of the beauty of nature; there are other videos that musically and visually explore the correspondence of scripture passages, some accompanied with text to serve as a study guide. Each of these have their own uses. Please note that they can be played individually or buy opening the Play List and clicking on “play all” they will play in sequence through the entire collection. They make a wonderfully peaceful background for creating a mood for whatever else might be taking place.
These videos can be accessed by opening YouTube, searching ‘Ken Turley’ and clicking on the circular photo of me playing guitar; this will take you to my YouTube Channel. There you will se a row of Playlists, click on the one titled “Musical Meditations New Directions.” If you click on the photo it will play them all in sequence, or you can click on “view full playlist and select the individual video of your choice. I would invite you to click on “Playlists” and explore the other playlists as well.
Here’s a link to Rev. Turley’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPrq3Jpq3E7uHUJyPpA5Atw
Rev. Ken Turley, now retired after 30 years as parish minister and serving as president of Convention, and his wife Laurie, live in Bridgton, ME. While she continues her career as a public school music teacher, Ken devotes his time to composing music, producing music videos, gardening and keeping house. Performing and rehearsing have ground to a halt with the isolation required by the virus, but the more solitary aspects of his life continue unabated.