Singing "Rooftops" in My Spiritual Home... I'm Excited!

This Sunday, I am going to be the featured musician at my spiritual home, Unity North Atlanta. This may not be a big deal to a lot of people, but it's a big deal to me, and I couldn't be more excited.

The first time I came to Unity was in 2003 when a friend of mine was singing. I grew up Southern Baptist so let's just say I had a very different idea of what church was supposed to be. I remember thinking what the hell is this? about most of the church service. There was hand holding, there was hugging, there were happy people talking about love. Where was the guilt and judgment? Where were all of the people telling me I needed to be saved? Where were the people judging me for breaking the rules?

I was maybe a little weirded out by the "new age" vibe, but I went back in 2006, and I had to admit, I really loved the sense of acceptance I got as soon as I walked in the door. I liked their way of looking at things. I liked their saying, "One God, many paths." I liked the idea of visualizing and manifesting and attracting positive people and situations into your life. I liked the idea of appreciating everything and making gratitude lists. Every time I went there, the spiritual leaders gave inspiring talks, the singers sang uplifting and moving songs, and it just felt like a place I wanted to be. I liked the idea of church being a celebration, a love fest. I liked the idea that everyone there could have their own unique experience of spirituality and God, and there wasn't a "wrong" way to worship.

I attended on and off and I joined a few groups here and there in an attempt to get to know people, but I didn't really get involved until I was cast in their production of Godspell last year. That led to me singing in the choir, the worship team, ensembles, and generally being a very active volunteer in the music ministry. I even started hosting an open mic night in January to give other people the opportunity to express themselves. 

Of course, I always wanted to be the featured musician--it seemed like something I would do, right? But I always felt that I had to keep my own music separate for some reason. How could I be both the Sara that sang uplifting positive songs on Sunday mornings and the Sara that poured all of the sadness and anger in the world out into unrequited love songs in music venues? How could I sing "I Am So Blessed," and "Peter's Lament"? It felt like two different aspects of myself that I needed to keep separate. I was also insecure about whether or not anyone at Unity would want to hear my mellow indie folk songs or whatever.

Then I realized that living the Unity principles does not mean I have to be happy all of the time. It doesn't mean I can't sing sad songs. And it sure doesn't mean that I shouldn't share that side of myself with the people I have come to know and love there. If I've learned one thing from my time at Unity, it's that all of the emotions and experiences in this life--both positive and negative--are beautiful. And having a spiritual experience doesn't mean we should completely ignore everything that makes us human. If anything we should celebrate it. And the Unity principles have taught me that I need to accept myself--sad songs and all.

This also is a big deal for me because not only am I singing an original song, but I'm singing "Rooftops." In 2010, I was going through a horrible breakup, and I was depressed. I mean, collapsing and screaming at the moon depressed. I got to go to Mexico that summer to start grad school, and it was coming together with all of the other writers there and celebrating our creativity that got me to the point where I knew things were going to be okay--where I could start to see the beauty in life again. When I got home, I wrote "Rooftops" largely about this experience--especially how we would sit on the rooftop of our hostel and all read our writing out loud to each other--but it has come to represent something larger.



"Rooftops" is a song about taking fear and sadness and using them to create something beautiful. It's about how we can create something new when we come together. It's about how when we see that we are all connected, we become infinite. And then we never die because we all live inside of each other. We are all one.

It means a lot to me that I get to sing this song at Unity because it almost mirrors everything I have learned on my spiritual journey. And Unity has played a major role in that journey. 

Not only that, but Geoff Goodwin will be joining me along with the Unity band and even some of my favorite singers doing background vocals! We're even going to have an organ. Pocket the Moon and then some! It's going to be the most epic version of "Rooftops" ever. (I get to sing another song, too, which is a cover that I won't give away, but let's just say you will probably need to clap along.)

For those of you who are in the Atlanta area, I hope you will join us at 11:15 AM this Sunday. If you don't live in the area, they actually broadcast the service live on the internet so check it out at http://unitynorth.org

4 comments

  • David Smith

    David Smith Last house at the end of Badass street

    That should be a fun day. I will be there to hear you sing.

    That should be a fun day. I will be there to hear you sing.

  • Sara Crawford

    Sara Crawford Marietta, GA

    I would hope so since you are running sound. :-P

    I would hope so since you are running sound. :-P

  • Julie Boniger

    Julie Boniger Kennesaw, ga

    Great post. I'm glad you are finally doing a Sunday and sharing the other side of Sara. As one of the aforementioned "favorite singers", I too will be there with bells on!

    Great post. I'm glad you are finally doing a Sunday and sharing the other side of Sara. As one of the aforementioned "favorite singers", I too will be there with bells on!

  • Judith Birdsong

    Judith Birdsong Canton, Georgia

    Both Frank and I will be there and look forward (as always) to hearing you sing. :))

    Both Frank and I will be there and look forward (as always) to hearing you sing. smile)

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