This week Matt and Zach sat down and talked with Rev. Violet Johnicker about her ministry.
Jenny LaJoye’s “Speak Boldly” Album Release
Unique Event for Co-Creating Healing Space in Collaboration with Juniper Formation
Denver, CO: On July 24, 2020, Jenny LaJoye (they/them), pop-folk singer songwriter, along with new church start Juniper Formation, will be releasing “Speak Boldly,” their third album. The event, titled Speak Boldly:
Co-create Healing Space, will be hosted virtually. The album represents the birthing process of three new ministries: LaJoye’s sacred music songwriting ministry, Rev. Dr. Jenny Whitcher’s newly-formed Juniper Formation as a church, and the rebirth of a rural Colorado church as the only publicly LGBTQ+ affirming congregation in their community.
LaJoye wrote the album “Speak Boldly,” while working with Rev. Whitcher on a six-month ministry rebirth process with that rural Colorado congregation. Through this healing experience, the congregation in turn now offers healing to their wider community as the only publicly LGBTQ+ open and affirming church within several neighboring towns, and as hosts to a community-wide LGBTQ+ youth group.
“The thing that surprised me most about writing this album was that it softened my edges,” says LaJoye. “As a post-Evangelical, ritual-loving queer person, religious institutions have muted a lot in me. Working on this album of inclusive, progressive sacred music helped me grieve that, but it also gave me permission to celebrate the life and sound that is still to be found within myself and within spiritual spaces and communities.”
The album release will take place virtually in a space LaJoye holds sacred for themselves, Juniper Formation h ouse church. The virtual event will take place at 6:00 pm MST and be available for all, just as Juniper Formation was created to be. The album release link: https://jennylajoye.bandcamp.com/
“Jenny LaJoye’s new sacred music album, ‘Speak Boldly,’ embodies Juniper Formation’s mission of prophetically reimagining the Church by combining melodies that truly touch the soul with lyrics that speak boldly through inclusive and liberative theology,” says Whitcher. “I’m excited about this album because the Church desperately needs new music that draws us into healing and loving relationship with ourselves, one another, and God. So many of us are excluded and hurt by the non-inclusive, patriarchal language and oppressive theologies of both traditional hymns and newer church music. “Speak Boldly” is an invitation to the wider Church to worship and speak boldly about inclusive love, justice, and liberation for the wholeness of God’s beloved creation in all our diversities.”
For more information, including interview availability and exclusive listens, contact Rev. Dr. Jenny Whitcher.
About Juniper Formation:Juniper Formation is a new church start of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a progressive, mainline denomination. Our mission is prophetically reimagining the Church by incubating new ministries, centering the margins of the Church, and accompanying one another through prophetic discernment and ministry formation. Juniper Formation is invested in shared liberation and disrupting the cornerstones of oppression; and committed to radical love and justice for the diversity of God’s creation, especially the marginalized and oppressed. Our ministry is womxn-led, multiethnic and antiracist, affirming of undocumented neighbors, celebrating of different abilities, and Open & Affirming of LGBTQ+ individuals and families in the life and leadership of our church. We are centering the margins of the Church.