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Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.

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Dear Mr. Keillor, 'A Prairie

August 2, 2006 |

Dear Mr. Keillor,
'A Prairie Home Companion' has been a favorite of mine for many years and I especially enjoy the rousing gospel music. My wife and I attend a Philippine Presbyterian church and sing in the choir, one of two non-Philippine people. The music tends to be rather homogeneous. How can I introduce some 'real' gospel music to these people, especially when about a quarter of them do not speak any English? The kind of music that makes people jump to their feet and clap and swayand speak in tongues and shout "Hallelujah" and "Praise the Lord".

Or am I expecting too much from people whose unwritten motto seems to be "If it isn't in the hymnal, then it isn't in our church"?

I await your advice.

Mark B.
Anaheim, California

It's not going to happen, Mark. I believe that faith and prayer can accomplish almost anything, but not within the church. Change within the church takes cutthroat politics and masterful passive-aggressive strategy. Don't go there. You're in a Filipino church. Be happy. If you need gospel music, find a black pentecostal outfit and wear nice clothes.

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