City Church Music – Love Divine, Victorious

A second EP released recently by City Church in San Francisco featuring the City Church choir.  Music Director Karl Digerness and composer Minna Choi’s attempt to integrate a small choir into supporting congregational music.  This one featuring songs for Holy Week.

A pdf of leadsheets is included with the album download.

Sufjan Stevens – The Transfiguration

There aren’t a lot of songs that wonder on the transfiguration (Matt 17).  Sufjan Stevens has a wonderful one and I’ve heard that a few churches have used this in worship.  David Crowder covered the song and I just heard there is an EP coming out soon from City Church with a symphonic/choir version of it.

More related texts from the Hymnary. Some more worship resources on The Transfiguration from Luke Brodine.

Transfiguration – Leadsheet

When he took the three disciples
to the mountainside to pray,
his countenance was modified, his clothing was aflame.
Two men appeared: Moses and Elijah came;
they were at his side.
The prophecy, the legislation spoke of whenever he would die.

Then there came a word
of what he should accomplish on the day.
Then Peter spoke, to make of them a tabernacle place.
A cloud appeared in glory as an accolade.
They fell on the ground.
A voice arrived, the voice of God,
the face of God, covered in a cloud.

What he said to them,
the voice of God: the most beloved son.
Consider what he says to you, consider what’s to come.
The prophecy was put to death,
was put to death, and so will the Son.
And keep your word, disguise the vision till the time has come.

Lost in the cloud, a voice: Have no fear! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Turn your ear!
Lost in the cloud, a voice: Lamb of God! We draw near!
Lost in the cloud, a sign: Son of man! Son of God!

by Sufjan Stevens
© 2004 New Jerusalem Music

San Fran ARLW Conference recap


Back to my new digs at Hope College and feeling very thankful for time spent in San Francisco with friends old and new. Did I mention the toast?

I was out there for a conference that City Church San Fran was hosting with the ARLW focused on the theme of Liturgy and Evangelism.  A bunch of fantastic services put together by Karl and Minna (plus Magik*Magik) and three challenging keynote addresses to a very diverse crowd of scholars and practitioners.

  • Todd Johnson (Fuller) on Ancient/Future Faith and the legacy of Bob Webber
  • Suz Rozeboom (Western Sem) on the eschatological trajectory of anamnesis!
  • Pat Kiefert (Lutheran Sem) on evangelism and the catechumenate

still processing content from their talks but will be enjoying these new sounds that I picked up from fellow participants as I do…hope you enjoy.

Redeemer Fellowship – Wes Crawford

Table Songs cover art
Table Songs – by Redeemer Fellowship Kansas City

Congregational crowd-sourced songs for the Lord’s Supper.  Tons of great texts and tunes here!

Evan Wallace Wilson
Resurrection Song (EP) cover art

Resurrection Song (EP)

Evan recorded this with the folks from Page CXVI and directs worship in Seattle, WA.
Very nice modern worship sound and interesting set of original texts ranging from Easter to Christmas.

Joel Limpic – Pilgrimage

I’m spending a good bit of my summer learning songs from songwriters who spent time in Oklahoma where my predecessor Joshua Banner is from.  It was doubly fun to get some hang time with Joel Limpic who now leads worship/arts at Park City Church in Denver.

City Hymns – Fragments of Grace

Years in the writing, and decades in the making – Karl Digerness, under the moniker “City Hymns,” has recently released one of the most finely produced reHabbed hymn albums that I have heard.  Tuning his songwriting skills for years under the banner of Birmingham, AL unit Red Mountain Music it finally became time to explore on tape (literally) the sounds and sights of his current home in San Francisco where he tends the musical work at City Church, San Francisco.

Karl’s music is a beautiful example of indigenous and pastoral creativity.  While his roots and his voice are mired in the red clay of alabama he brings a city sophistication and savoir faire to the writing and production.  He also surrounds himself with musicians, producers, and artists that are more gifted than he is – the unfailing sign of a great leader.  To the point – Karl worked extensively on this album with Minna Choi, the worship arts assistant at City Church and the Artistic Director of the 150+ person Magik*Magik.  Minna has done some crazy awesome work with John Vanderslice and ‘Fragments of Grace’ was recorded to tape at his tiny telephone studios. amen.

Karl is also a great pastor and encourager.  He has supporter, prodded, and co-produced friends and musicians that stretch from California, to Nashville, to New York. He is the rare breed of worship leader that is admired and respected by the quirkiest artist and the most established pastor.

Cardiphonia is really grateful for both this album and Karl’s support.  He recently contributed an alternate version of “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart” for our Pentecost Album. Listen HERE.

Karl drinks exclusively Blue Bottle Coffee.

Hymns Compendium for “FRAGMENTS OF GRACE”

1. Prelude (There is a Fountain)

2. There is a Fountain / leadsheet
(From William Cowper’s “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood“)

3. Gloria Patri/ leadsheet
(Traditional Liturgical piece – new music from Karl)

4. Come Every Soul By Sin Oppressed / leadsheet
(From John H. Stockton’s “Come Every Soul by Sin Oppressed“)

5. Satisfied / leadsheet
(From Clara T. Williams, “All My Life Long I Had Panted“)
*trivia – The original tune written in 1875 by Ralph Hudson was also called “Satisfied”

6. Out of the Depths (Psalm 130) / leadsheet
(Adapted from Henry Baker’s “Out of the Deep I Call”)

7. The Feast / leadsheet
(From Williams Gadsby #660 “With wondering eyes, Lord, we admire“)

8. How Long, O Lord / leadsheet
(From Isaac Watts – Psalm 13 “How long, O Lord, shall I complain“)

9. Spirit of God / leadsheet
(from George Croly, “Spirit of God, descend upon my heart“)

10. Holy Hands / leadsheet
(From Horatius Bonar, “Not what my hands have done“)

11. Gracious Spirit, Dove Divine / leadsheet
(from John Stocker, “Gracious Spirit, Dove divine“)

—*Bonus Tracks*—

Near the Cross
(From Fanny Crosby, “Jesus, keep me near the cross”)
Music: W Howard Doane, 1869)

Holy, Holy, Holy \ Leadsheet
(From Reginald Heber, “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty“)
Music: John Dykes, 1861

Rock of Ages
(From Augustus Toplady ,”Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me“)

I’ll Fly Away
(from Albert Brumley “Some glad morning when this life is o’er”)

Prayers for the Lord’s Supper

Our congregation celebrates the Lord’s Supper every Sunday and we always have non-Christians present.  We print these prayers in our bulletin to give those who are investigating faith a place to direct both their anxieties and their searching hearts.

*borrowed and adapted from City Church, San Francisco.


Prayer for Those Searching for the Truth
Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might be undaunted by the cost of following you as I consider the reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me, and open to me the reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life that you promise. Amen.

Prayer of Belief
Lord Jesus, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through you I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment on the cross, and offering forgiveness and new life. Knowing that you have been raised from the dead, I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior and Lord. Amen.

Prayer of Commitment
Lord Jesus, you have called us to follow you in baptism and in a life of committed discipleship in your church. Grant that I may take the necessary steps to be one with your people, and live in the fullness of your Spirit. Amen.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Karl Digerness is the chief musician at City Church in San Francisco.  I’ve had the opportunity to hangout with Karl a couple of times and he is an all around fantastic musician. Besides contributing to a slew of Red Mountain Music projects he also writes fantastic stuff for his own congregation.  I recently asked him to send me a song he wrote. This is a great example of artful pairing of text and tune.

Karl’s tune also goes great with Bonar’s communion hymn “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
mp3 | leadsheet | info


Spirit of God, descend upon my heart,
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet-ecstasies;
No sudden rending of the veil of clay;
No angel vision, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid us love Thee, God and King?
All Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind;
I see thy cross there teach me to cling;
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame:
The presence of Thy descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

words: George Croly (1854)
music: Karl Digerness, 2006
Used By Permission

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