Our Interdependence Through Positive Music

Published on: December 1, 2013

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When I joined Unity 25 years ago, I felt that our music was stagnant. We had touring Positive Music artists who wrote life-changing music, but their lives were on parallel paths with no intersections. Ten years ago, after I got tired of changing words to songs to fit Unity, or frantically trying to locate nonexistent sheet music for a Positive song, I felt a “calling.” The Positive Music movement needed some connecting and it seemed “mine to do,” so I volunteered for the Music Ministry Team of Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM).

What a difference 10 years makes! The Music Ministry Team now hosts the Sound Connections conference focusing on music and ministry, and providing training and inspiration to music directors. Our presenters model what great music and ministry look like. Our church musicians now have a way of connecting. We created songbooks as resources, and this inspired folks to write more Positive songs since there was now an outlet for them.

Richard Mekdeci’s vision was to connect touring artists, and since I had met him on the Music Ministry Team, I said yes to helping with that. We started emPower Music and Arts, which hosts the yearly emPower Positive Music Festival. It has successfully connected hundreds of Positive Music Artists who had previously been rambling around by themselves. And, when you put a bunch of creative folks together, something marvelous happens. They co-write songs together! Now they are combining energy, talent, and ideas to co-create songs that would never have been written if they hadn’t been together at one of these conferences. emPower also created the Music Rights License, so for the first time ever, Posi artists are being paid when churches use their creative works.

All of this collaboration has brought together Unity and Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) musicians to co-create magical works of art. These songs are now being shared in churches and centers, included in UWM songbooks, and submitted to the Posi Awards. Just imagine what a difference this makes! A perfect musical collaboration!

What beautiful music we make together when we collaborate and connect! Together, we can change the world “one song at a time.”

Sue Riley
Sue Riley is the Music Director for Unity Church of Clearwater, Fla., Vice President of emPower Music and Arts, and chairperson of the Music Ministry Team. A prolific, award-winning songwriter, Sue believes in the power of music to connect hearts and heal lives.

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