I was at the SING! Conference this past week and had the pleasure to promote both Rabbit Room Press and Square Halo Books. During my time there I can’t say which I enjoyed more: seeing people exclaim “I have that!” as they point at the Every Moment Holy banner or watching the looks of those unfamiliar with the books realize what a treasure they are. But my favorite memory was talking to a guy in a cool NeedToBreathe t-shirt who nonchalantly pulled out of his backpack an original hardback version of volume one for me to sign.
Now, I love the full-size, hardcover version with the gilded edges, and I always encourage folks to buy that one since it best captures Doug’s original vision for these books, but if I was going to a huge conference like the one the Gettys put on with all the groovy books on sale, I would never give up that much real estate in my backpack. So, kudos to him! And while I admire that fellow’s commitment to Every Moment Holy, I suddenly realized that the Every Moment Holy:r Gift Edition had an important role to play in the Body of Christ.
I always tell people that as soon as Andrew Peterson explained the project to me, I knew I had to be part of it. It spoke to the very heart of me as an artist and as a Christian. What I didn’t know was how much it would mean to other people. I honestly thought it was going to be too low-church for the high-church folks and too high-church for the low-church folks. I have never been happier to be proven so very wrong. Even this past week at the SING! Conference I had the joy of talking to people who had tears in their eyes as they told me how much these two books have meant to them. I also had the fun of “repenting” to people who hurled faux rebukes at me for not having given them advance notice that I was going to be at the event so that they could’ve brought their copies of EMH with them for me to sign.
As we look forward to the release of the Every Moment Holy Gift Edition, I want to share with you two things about it that I particularly enjoy. First is the size: this new one gives me waves of nostalgic glee as it reminds me of the prayer books I would use as a child growing up in the Reformed Episcopal church my grandfather pastored.
The second thing is that we were able to squeeze in a brand new linocut illustration. In a perfect world, I would want to illustrate everything Doug ever wrote, but that would end up making the book suitable only for churches with large lecterns. One liturgy in particular that many people bemoaned the lack of illumination was “A Liturgy Before Taking the Stage.”
In the new Gift Edition, we now have that one pictured. In that print, an African-American man is shown (my friend Steve Prince helped me with that part when I was busy drawing the block at another conference we were both attending) standing in the palm of God as a spotlight shines on him, hung from the glory clouds of Heaven. The man holds a platter with his modest offering of bread and fish for his King. Around him are possible tools of his service on the stage—an open Bible, a microphone, and a guitar.
So, if you are going on stage, off camping, attending the SING! Conference, or live in a tiny apartment the size of the ones my daughters rent in New York City, make haste and pre-order the Every Moment Holy Gift Edition RIGHT NOW.