Coming Up in Worship

by | Dec 31, 2023

What does the “American Dream” mean to you personally? A common description of the American Dream “Was the ability of people to rise above the circumstances of their birth.” Does it still exist?

So far this century, campaign slogans promise to restore the American Dream, implying that it is no longer relevant for the current generation. Thousands cross our borders every day in pursuit of just such a promise that seems impossible in their native land.

On Valentine’s Day in 2012, Trigger Coroneos posted a brief article that suggested a reshaping of the American Dream is emerging. “Instead of declaring the death of The American Dream, perhaps it is changing from one that uses traditional economic parameters to gauge its health, to ones that instead gauge the happiness and fulfillment of the individual.”

But what does the American Dream, country music and scripture have in common? The answer isn’t just politics. However, politicians use all three in their pursuit of votes. Did I mention that 2024 is a presidential election year?

Welcome to our new worship series, Country.

Over the next six weeks, our messages will consider the intersection of scripture, the American Dream, and country music. We’re using David Leonhardt’s recently published book, Ours was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream, as a companion. See our Book Club News article for a reading schedule.

In his book, Leonhardt retraces the history of the American Dream and explores the somber news of our shared dream’s demise. In the first two decades of the 21st century, we’re experiencing the stagnation of living standards, a declining life expectancy, and rising economic inequality.

And the vast majority of us are feeling the loss.

Scripture tells us that God chose the Israelites as a starting point for reconciling the world with God’s divine plan for peace and prosperity. And our salvation story reflects our shared dream as Americans. So what went wrong?

God assured the exiled Israelites, through the Prophet Jeremiah, not to give up their dreams for a better life. God has a plan.

I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.
Jeremiah 29:11

Dreams show up in art. The artist pours out their heart on canvas, in their movements, through their instruments, voices, writings, and other means of expression. Art, at its best, is the voice of God speaking through ordinary creatures.

I believe Trigger is correct in his assessment that “Music is the weapon of the great awakeni ng, and the bullhorn in the reshaping of The American Dream.” And clearly the country music genre is a rather large bullhorn. According to CMA, approximately reaches approximately 139 Million. A survey by ARPA found that 40% of those surveyed listen to country music.

This year, our country elects our president for the next four years along with a myriad of other public officials. While we do not intend to tell you who to vote for, we hope to highlight some of our common struggles and issues that should influence our choices.

I pray that you will join us each Sunday morning at 10:30 am. We share our weekly episodes on our YouTube channel. We go live at 10:30 am. You can find these links along with more information about us, or join our live broadcast on our website at

Pastor Tommy

David Leonhardt. Ours was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream. New York: Penguin Random House, 2023.

Kyle Trigger” Coroneos. Music, and the Reshaping of The American Dream,” ©, February 14, 2012. Retrieved from: Link to Article

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