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It's hard to know how to find the words to describe and express our gratitude for the Agape Community.

Since its initial formation in 1998 as Fusion, we have been honored to be part of the ministry teams, music, and retreat-planning for this model young adult community. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the growth of future leaders, to see them finding their gifts, forming and growing in faith, building friendships, meeting spouses, and starting families of their own.

The bonds that are formed, especially on the twice-yearly retreats, are ones that can last a lifetime. Thankfully, they still let us stick around, even as we keep pushing the upper age limits for anyone's definition of "young adults"!

Find their website at AgapeCommunity.net
Matt Rickettes Neale Eckstein Subiaco Retreat House

One of the best parts about re-mixing and re-arranging the tracks for this 2014 re-release of Children of God is that we have been able to include the amazing bass tracks of Matt Ricketts.

Matt has known Terry for almost 30 years, and performed regularly with us until 2010 when he changed jobs, and left the Detroit area for the warmer climes of Atlanta. Matt's enthusiasm and passion for music is evident to anyone who has ever seen him play, and he makes every show so much more fun for us.

We really miss performing with him, and especially the road trips, where Matt and Terry would have solved all the world's political problems and figured out a cure for cancer within the first two hours of the drive. It is always a treat whenever he is able to fly in and join us for a gig.

We are really looking forward to having him with us at the Wild Goose Festival for the CD launch.

Neale Eckstein
from Fox Run Studios in Sudbury, MA has been a friend for many years.

He and his wife Laurie run one of the best house concert series we know of, and it is always a joy for us to get booked there. Neale was kind enough to give Kirsti a crash-course in Pro Tools back in 2009 when we first released this album, and is responsible for recording and playing on the final (bonus) track of this re-mixed version.

He is generous with his time and resources, and is truly multi-talented. As well as a day job as a pediatric dentist, the recording studio, and house concerts, he is equally renowned in the folk music community for his photography skills. And, more recently, he has branched out into songwriting and performing himself, releasing his own CD, Click, in 2014. Check him out at FoxRun.org.

Track number nine, Obsculta O Fili, was written for a retreat at the Benedictine Monastery in Oxford, Michigan.

The Subiaco Retreat House there is occupied most weekends with youth groups, and has been the setting for our Agape Winter Retreats since 2002. A geodesic dome structure, with windows all around, it is the perfect setting to watch the snow fall and experience the peace that comes from such a prayer-filled place. In 2007, we decided that rather than run our own retreat programming, we would instead join with the monks in their liturgies of daily prayer.

Our talk content was based on the Rule of St. Benedict. Fr. John Martin challenged the two of us to write a Gregorian-style chant, rather than our usual more uptempo theme song. We figured that since we were writing chant, we might as well go all the way and use a Latin translation of the opening words of St. Benedict's Rule as our refrain. We are grateful to Fr. John Martin for the inspiration, and to all the monks at St. Benedict's Monastery for their care and support of our community. Learn more about the monks here, and the retreat house at their website.
Agape   Agape   Agape

Finally, Lisa Brown, Agape's founding leader is a most delightful and Spirit-led woman and great friend. We don't have anywhere near the right words to describe her impact except to say that she is the heart and drive and vision and energy behind Agape. We have been privileged to work by her side from the beginning, adding our humor and gifts to the mix of her talent and charisma and intuition and theology and and and...like I said not enough words to describe this visionary and creative leader.

To top it off, she has a gorgeous alto voice that we were able to eventually grab for the Agape choir.

Lisa has been the founder and heartbeat of Agape and over the years has raised up a cadre of leaders who, to her credit, will now take over the reins as she leaves the Agape ministry to become the director of religious education at a local parish.

We expect good things for all and trust that God is expanding and spreading the wealth in this transformation process. Re-releasing Children of God in its new and improved form at this time of transition is a happy "God-incident". We are all blessed. And we continue to relish Lisa's friendship and look forward to teaming with her in future endeavors.


You can visit the Agape social pages and find ways to become involved:

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P.O. Box 248, Royal Oak, Michigan 48068-0224
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