• Ana Hernandez is a composer, workshop facilitator, song leader, and co-founder of the Dallas/Fort Worth Threshold choir. She's been a presenter with MMC since 2010, and has composed many beautiful songs over the years that are beloved by the MMC network.

    Ana lead Don't Be Afraid at our MMC Presenters' Retreat in September of 2015 at Holy Cross Monastery in Westpark, NY.

    “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.”
    - The Eleventh Step of Alcoholics Anonymous

    They met EVERY Sunday in a beautiful, candlelit room for an hour. Some went out together afterward, some went home, some stayed and chatted over coffee or tea. The gathering was called LifeLine, and it was neither a church service nor a 12-step meeting. Our only purpose was to work the 11th step together, so that we could walk each other through the ways of prayer and meditation, into conscious contact with God. I sang with them two or three times a month for three years, and they were the most intentional spiritual community of which I was a part. 

    In the early stages of Lifeline, I would begin with something easy to harmonize with like There is Some Kiss. The text is from Rumi; “there is some kiss we want with our whole lives; the touch of spirit on the body.”

    The format went something like this:

    Serenity prayer
    10-15 minute teaching/exercise on meditation
    10-15 minute teaching/exercise on prayer
    Speaker (how is the 11th step working in your life?)
    Serenity prayer in a circle
    See ya next week!

    As you can see, singing was an integral part of LifeLine; serving to bring us together, to enable each of us to find and raise our voices together, and to remind us of how close God really is. There were people from all walks of life, and they mostly all sang with and for one another. We learned about one new tune a month, repeating them until they flew.

    Like every group, they had their favorites, and I encouraged/cajoled them to sing in harmony and improvise at will with varying degrees of success, depending upon who and how many were there. The hands down favorites were John Bell’s Don’t Be Afraid and Open My Heart. You could see how they let the tunes sink in, and take them deep, but they really loved to sing walking tunes with percussion, too; and especially loved to end with Ruth Cunningham’s God Bless Every Step.

    You can find more songs using the “Recovery” filter under “Contexts and Gatherings” in our MMC Songs Database. You can also add your own songs by clicking on “add a song.” 

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    • Ana Hernandez
      commented 2016-04-13 23:02:51 -0400
      This isn’t really an example of leading, but rather an example of Ben wanting to record Don’t be Afraid, so he could learn it, and trying to squeeze it in before a meeting began. Check out the link for an audio version where you can hear the true beauty of the tune. Thanks!

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