Arts, News, Voices

The Beauty of Harmony–The City Harmonic and TrueCity

guest blogger–Eli Dummer

C.S. Lewis once said this thing that’s always stuck with me: ‘If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.’ It’s like there’s this hopeful nostalgia within us all for the way things ought to be.  We long to be a part of something real, something bigger than just me.  This something grabs hold of our heart and doesn’t let go.  It’s as though we just know how it will be when we’ll finally feel at home – at peace with one another and with God.  At the same time we face the day-to-day realities of a bruised economy, broken homes and a million other struggles.  We don’t face them alone, but we face them nonetheless. This tension is the reality we live with as followers of Christ. The war is won but the battle for peace is waging. Christ has won, Christ will come again. We live in the in between.

We’re often asked how our band decided on our name, The City Harmonic, and while it’s a bit of a play on words (particularly the word “Philharmonic”), one of the answers we’ve consistently given is that we’re very attracted to the idea of that eventual “harmonious city”, and the tension that is left when we’re truly honest about life here and now. In Revelation we’re able to peek into the coming reality that God paints for us of a real and tangible place in which we’re in communion with God and each other; a place where we are finally know peace: shalom.  As a band that writes worship songs, I guess we just hope to somehow spark in people that dream, like a feeling they can’t shake, and that it will inspire them to sing like every word matters, to live like every day matters, and having had a taste of heaven they’ll get on with helping this world feel more like home.  What continues to inspire us is that we earnestly believe that in Hamilton and with TrueCity we’ve seen a glimpse of what that looks like in a real way.

TrueCity has been an important part of our story – we’ve all been personally impacted by or deeply involved with TrueCity churches and the resulting ministries almost since it began.  Whether we were serving with our local churches (we belong to different churches throughout the city who are involved with TrueCity in various ways) or worshipping/serving with College and High School Students at Crossculture over the years, the simple fact is that TrueCity has made the Church in Hamilton something we can be proud of. The last few months has been a whirlwind for us – we’ve seen an incredible response from the Church around the world to the songs God has given us and part of what’s been inspiring has been having the opportunity to talk about what God is doing in our city as a living, breathing example of what can happen. To see churches together “for the good of the city” is something we might take for granted, but I’ll tell you as we travel and talk about it with folks around the world, the simple truth is that our little hometown TrueCity story is inspiring.  On a large American radio network a couple of weeks ago, the host asked us if there is a “Hamilton Class” that church leaders can take to figure out how to work together. I’m pretty sure she was only half-kidding.

I received an email this week that moved me in a huge way.  Eric, who plays bass in our band and works at Hughson St, had learned that we were being invited to the TrueCity conference where there would be time given to pray for and commission our band as we transition into a new phase of ministry in the wider Church.  It was humbling and profoundly moving.  I can’t think of a more beautiful thing for us as we move forward. Although, in a way, I guess it’s no different than anything else at the TrueCity conference.  To inspire each other and be reminded that we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves as we get on with making this city feel more like home, and there’s no place like home.