Geneva Methodist church to highlight songs of protest in online worship

Sermon series in August focuses protest songs, scripture

GENEVA – Songs of Protest, a four-week sermon series, will be the focus of online worship for the United Methodist Church of Geneva for the rest of August, officials announced in a news release.

The Songs of Protest series services will all be on all day Sunday and on Facebook.

Longtime Music Director Scott Stevenson created the series was in light of recent protests.

Stevenson and several well-known local musicians teamed up about a week ago, socially distanced in a large studio, to record the songs for the series. Each week, a different pastor will connect the protest song with scripture and recent protests across the country, the release stated.

Associate Pastor Rev. Lisa Telomen will preach Aug. 16, on Marvin Gaye’s classic “What’s Goin’ On?”

Gaye’s song grew from his reflections on the Watts Riots, Bloody Thursday, and his younger brother’s three-year tour in Vietnam, according to the release.

Telomen will connect the history and legacy of the song to laments.

Rev. Dr. Rich Darr will preach Aug. 23 on the song “Ohio,” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings in 1970, this song reflects the horror of the bloodshed on that college campus. Darr grew up in Ohio, and recalls the trauma of that time.

The series will conclude with the Aug. 30 sermon, delivered by Congregational Care Director Rev. Mary Gay McKinney, preaching on Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”

Today, protests continue. There has been change, but not nearly enough, the release stated. McKinney will focus on hope for change.

The church also offers Prayer and Encouragement at noon Wednesdays and Fridays on Facebook, and music on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Currently, music is “From the Archives: Music of UMCG.”