Finding a Voice

Saturday, March 29, 2008

what is SIRETONA?

About a year and a half ago, the Lord gave me an idea and I have been learning ever since what it means.

When I left Briercrest, the Lord kept reminding me of a phrase someone said to me in 2002 at the Toronto Airport Fellowship: “You will sing release to nations.” So I started working on that phrase, praying over it, dreaming, and invented a new word to name my ministry taking the first 2 letters of each word in Sing Release To Nations: SIRETONA Creative. So far the Lord has shown me that the ministry is to involve worship, intercession/spiritual warfare, and fairly traded products (coffee, dried fruit, sugar). Recently He has been giving me vision for raising money, gathering resources, and coordinating training for indigenous musicians under the umbrella of SIRETONA Creative.

About a month ago I met a couple from Serbia who are Alliance missionaries there. Their son Filip (about 20 years old) is musically gifted and has a vision to bring Christian music to Serbia. Their city, Novi Sad, is the location of Exit, the largest music festival in Europe. But it has no Christian representation that this family is aware of. Filip’s mother, Vera, told me it’s easy to raise money for children’s ministry and cancer hospice, “but nobody wants to give money for a studio.” That got the wheels turning in my mind, so when my parents threw me a big birthday party recently, we decided that in lieu of gifts, people could give donations for the studio. So far we’ve got $380.00, with a bit more expected. I know that barely buys a decent microphone, but it’s a start.

Day before yesterday I watched a video from MCC called “Song of the Refugee” about a Ugandan musician named Samite who is, among other things, using music therapy with AIDS orphans in Africa. One of his projects is taking children who are dying into the studio to sing so they can give a recording to their friends for remembering them after they’re gone. He also arranges donations for small musical instruments like kalimbas (thumb pianos) and flutes. His vision and reach inspired me.

So … my question for you is … would you be interested in getting involved with SIRETONA on some level? Do you know others who would be?

The Serbian studio is the first major project.
There are so many other things I could imagine:
:: having established studios donate equipment for international studios,
:: bands & other performers going to international festivals like Exit,
:: instructors and engineers going over to do workshops, courses and sessions,
:: music therapy,
:: worship in secret and public places that lifts up heads and opens the gates for the King of Glory to come in,
:: and so much more ....

Are you interested in being involved? If SIRETONA attained charitable ministry status, would that make you more interested? I have a possibility for that.

Let me know what you think. Post a comment here, or send a message from my website:

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 10:30 PM 0 comments

arts to release nations: Tribe of One

Here is a video about some friends from Briercrest College who got a chance to sing and dance and paint for the release of the Eastern block nation of Kosovo. Rik Leaf is the main spokesperson. Kathy is the woman with long hair, one of the dancers. (Kathy & I were in tour choir together and lived together in BC for a year after college. I learned a lot about silence and worship from her. She is married to Bruce, guitar player, the guy with short dark hair. You can see him play in their video of Fly Away.)

Tribe of One, Kosovo documentary

Tribe of One morphs, always with Rik and his wife Zara at the hub. Here's a video of a recent performance. Ah ... sing and dance for the release of the nations!

Tribe of One, Underneath the Maple Leaf

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 9:48 PM 0 comments

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter poem

For my birthday Mom & Dad gave me The Ordering of Love, Madeleine L'Engle's collected poems (Shaw, 2005). Many are reflections on biblical characters, with several related to Easter. Here is a particularly poignant poem:



When you agree to be the mother of God
you make no conditions, no stipulations.
You flinch before neither cruel thorn nor rod.
You accept the tears; you endure the tribulations.

But, my God, I didn't know it would be like this.
I didn't ask for a child so different from others.
I wanted only the ordinary bliss,
to be the most mundane of mothers.


When I first saw the mystery of the Word
made flesh I never thought that in his side
I'd see the callous wound of Roman sword
piercing my heard on the hill where he died.

How can the Word be silenced? Where has it gone?
Where are the angel voices that sang at his birth?
My frail heart falters. I need the light of the Son.


Dear God, He has come, the Word has come again.
There is no terror left in silence, in clouds, in gloom.
He has conquered the hate; he has overcome the pain.
Where, days ago, was death lies only an empty tomb.

The secret should have come to me with his birth,
when glory shone through darkness, peace through strife.
For every birth follows a kind of death,
and only after pain comes life.
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 3:32 PM 0 comments

Monday, March 10, 2008


Forget "Freedom Fifty-Five." I'm turning FORTY this week and I'm going to fly!

Here's a new template to celebrate it.

Mom and Dad are hosting a party for me on Saturday with music, poetry, stories, and quite a few friends and family members.

Since my calling is to Sing Release To Nations (, instead of gifts, we are contributing toward the building of a music studio in Novi Sad, Serbia. The studio is being planned by the Kuranji family (pronounced ku-RAH-nee), natives of Serbia who immigrated to Canada and later went back for ministry. Parents Vera and Danny, have been missionaries there for nearly 2 decades. Their son, Filip, was miraculously healed of kidney cancer at age two. Now at 21, with a gift of music, he has a vision to bring Christian music to Serbia. He works full-time in the church in Novi Sad. The Kuranjis have been part of a special mission project through Strasbourg Alliance Women this year and donations are receiptable through them.

If you're interested in contributing to the music studio, contact me here.

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 9:25 PM 3 comments

minstrel: little servant, minister

Last night we watched the newest version of Beowolf (with Angelina Jolie). Not sure I would highly recommend, but one scene got me thinking: the queen sings with her harp in the mead hall full of people, with only a handful actually listening to her. I commented, "The original coffee shop." The musician sings, it's mainly background music, setting the atmosphere, but a few people attend to your sound--your instrument, your voice, your words, your emotion.

So I did some internet surfing and found this lovely description of a minstrel:

Initially, minstrels were simply servants at Court (the name means literally "little servant"), and entertained the lord and courtiers with chansons de geste or their local equivalent. The term minstrel derives from Old French ménestrel, menesterel, menestral, French, which is similar to ménestral, Italian ministrello, menestrello, from Middle Latin ministralis, ministrel, "retainer," Latin minister, "attendant," "retainer," "minister," from minor, "less." (from Wikipedia)

This is my purpose -- to minister to the people listening and to minister to the people I sing about and work for.

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 12:48 PM 1 comments

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nokomis' Little Miss Higgins, Juno nominee

Here's the article I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Oh dear ... I noticed a typo in the third line on the second page: "miss" should be capitalized, "Miss." I haven't checked The Watrous-Manitou paper to see if they caught it.

It must be noted that the spelling of the song title, "This Train's a' Com'in Down," is correct.

Anyhow, this article is still one of my favourites thus far. Click on the image to enlarge it for reading.

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 11:43 PM 0 comments

it's official: professional writer

Hi Colleen,
I'm pleased to tell you that you've been accepted as a professional member of The Word Guild.
Congratulations on all the hard work that brought you here!
I will pop your paperwork in the mail.

Jeanette Duncan
Administrative Assistant
The Word Guild

Ask me if I was excited about that email! It means I can be listed on the hire! us pages of The Word Guild's site.

It's kind of ironic that a "professional" writer should feel like she's having trouble finding time to write. But looking at it objectively, I realize that's not true. I just haven't been able to keep up with "1000 word Tuesday" lately. And that's because I've been putting in so much time at the newspaper lately. And the newspaper is the reason why I was able to qualify for professional membership this year. So I will not begrudge time at the newspaper; it is every bit as creative as anything I might do at home.

And if it bothers you that I'm starting so many sentences with "and" ... well, I guess I've earned the right to break a few grammar rules for effect once in awhile.

My most recent favourite writing project for the Last Mountain Times is an article about Little Miss Higgins, a local resident (Nokomis) who has been nominated for a Juno award. Another newspaper, The Watrous-Manitou, noticed the story and asked to reprint it the next week. Of course I said yes!

I tried to attach two images of the article so you could read it. Unfortunately, the images were taking too long to load and I need to go to bed ... maybe I'll take time to upload them tomorrow or Saturday.

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 12:24 AM 2 comments

Saturday, March 01, 2008

mandolin debut

I'm off to sing in Strasbourg Idol. It's in the Strasbourg hotel (read bar), is reportedly quite silly (mostly karaoke), and is a fundraiser for a daycare centre, so I'm making my mandolin debit with a song written for my 4-year-old nephew: "No Please, No Pizza." Will post it online one day.

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posted by Colleen McCubbin at 5:52 PM 1 comments