-----SOULFEST-----
Music. Love. Action.

New England's Premier
Christian Music &
Social Justice Festival

August 7 - 9, 2014

Gunstock Mtn. Resort, Gilford, NH
thesoulfest.com

Speaker Highlight: Jamie Tworkowski

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Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit organization which aims to present hope and find help for young people struggling with depression, self-injury, addiction and suicide. TWLOHA began in March 2006 as a written story and Jamie’s attempt to meet the needs present in one life. TWLOHA is seeing an incredible response and surprising open doors with the social networking and music community. 

Hear Jamie Tworkowski speak at SoulFest on Friday 8/8 at 2:40 pm on the Revival Stage and 3:45 pm in the Justice Center on the same day. Jamie will also be participating in the Suicide Prevention Panel on Saturday 8/9 at 1:30 pm in the Justice Center!

Purchase your tickets for SoulFest here!

Speaker Highlight: Propaganda

Dynamic, soulful, experimental, and clever, all focused on the heart of a person. With an uncompromising message intertwined with hot rhythms and beats, Los Angeles based, Propaganda, lyrically puts together potent relevant music that reaches across the spectrum of youth and pop culture. Bringing with him years of classroom teaching and community service experience, he is eloquently bold in the message of each song and never shies away from a strong poetic element in his music. His Subject matter ranges from staying accountable God as well as standing up boldly for one’s faith both in word and in one’s life. Not to mention aggressive battle rap and political awareness.

Come see Propaganda speak at SoulFest on Saturday August 9th at 1:15 pm and perform the same day at 5:15 pm!

Don’t forget to purchase your SoulFest 2014 tickets here!

Artist Highlight: Natalie Grant

The ʺif it ain’t broke, don’t fix itʺ adage virtually guarantees repeat success in the music industry once a hit formula is found, yet from time to time, an artist steps out of their comfort zone and breaks the mold, discontent to pursue the predictable. Enter Natalie Grant. A powerhouse vocalist, heart-gripping songwriter and charismatic performer, she’s eager to push boundaries ”sonically, lyrically and otherwise ”and she more than proves her intentions with Relentless, her seventh album and first studio recording in nearly three years. It would’ve been easy for Natalie, GMA’s reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for four consecutive years, to rest on her laurels and make another Awaken. Her 2005 breakthrough recording, Awaken helped Natalie become Christian music’s top selling Adult Contemporary female solo artist in 2005, 2006 and 2008, gave her a formidable foothold at mainstream radio and media, and made her a household name in Christian music. But this time around, she was determined to keep people guessing. Like Awaken, Relentless showcases a deep dimension of lyrical honesty and vulnerability, a hallmark of Natalie’s music these days, yet sonically, she embraces her more progressive rock/pop side, replete with live horns, grittier guitar licks and the distinct R&B flair of her voice that’s often been toned down in the past. Artistic fervor resonates from a variety of sources, but Natalie’s comes from a deep desire to live a life that matters ”one that has eternal significanceʺ. Motivation has manifested itself in a variety of ways in her life, but in no way more clearly than through Natalie’s commitment to combat international human trafficking. As one of the first artists to open the eyes of the Church to the atrocities of children around the world forced into the sex trade, Natalie created The Home Foundation in 2005 to raise both awareness and financial support for this important fight.

Natalie Grant will be speaking and performing at SoulFest. She will be speaking on the Mercy Street Stage on Saturday August 9th at 12:00 pm; and she will be performing on the Revival Stage on the same day at 7:30 pm.

To see Natalie Grant speak and perform, purchase your SoulFest tickets here!

Speaker Highlight: Steve Taylor

Filmmaker/writer/producer/recording artist Steve Taylor earned his “Renaissance Man” stripes (Prism magazine) from a body of work that’s garnered him multiple Grammy, Billboard, Telly, Addy and Dove awards and nominations. As a filmmaker, he is the director/co-writer/producer of Blue Like Jazz, based on Donald Miller’s New York Times bestselling memoir. As a speaker, Steve has delivered keynote addresses to the National Youth Workers Convention and shared his story and wit at festivals, chapel services and master classes around the globe.Additionally, Steve was recently named filmmaker-in-residence at Lipscomb University’s new Film and Creative Media Master’s Program. 

See Steve Taylor’s workshop at SoulFest on Saturday August 9th at 2:30 pm at the Mercy Street Stage and hear him play with his band Steve Taylor & The Perfect Foil at 8:30 pm on the Inside Out Stage on the same day!

You can purchase your SoulFest passes here!

Artist Highlight: Mandisa

The anticipation for new music from this celebrated vocalist is great. Aside from last year’s critically-acclaimed holiday project It’s Christmas (2008), Freedom is a follow-up to Mandisa’s 2007 debut, True Beauty, an album that created history by becoming the highest chart entry and the best-selling debut artist in the life of her label, Sparrow Records. It also became the only female debut to hit No. 1 in the 27-year history of Billboard’s Christian Retail Chart. True Beauty received a GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album, the single “Only the World” became a Top 5 hit at Christian radio, and Mandisa was lauded one of the “Best New Artists of 2007” by multiple media outlets. The jubilant first single, “My Deliverer,” is a perfect example of the empowering message that builds the foundation of the entire album. With its buoyant pop/funk track backing her up, Mandisa sings with a carefree confidence about feeling more alive than ever.

Hear Mandisa play SoulFest on Thursday August 7th at 6:00 pm and purchase festival tickets here!

True Love Essay: Third Day

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Love. It’s all you need, right? But the idea - even the very word ‘love’ - has gotten lost through abuse and overuse. We love God, and we have some vague notion that we should love other people. We love our parents, our spouses, our children. But we also love Breaking Bad and the McRib. We know that there’s something more out there, a love that’s real. And so many of us get burned out on love that we just want to keep it to ourselves.  Instead of love, we’ll just settle for ‘liking’ things that we see online. 

So what does unconditional love look like? Because it is the pure essence of God’s personality, we usually see it the way Moses saw God. “Show me your glory,” Moses said. God knew that Moses would die if he looked him in the face, so he did the next best thing. He let Moses catch a glimpse as He walked by. In the same way, we don’t look at unconditional love in the face; instead, we catch backwards glimpses of it as it goes by. We can’t really describe it, but we know it when we see it. But when we’ve experienced it, we recognize it as none other than a reflection of God. 

I recently had the chance to catch a glimpse of unconditional love. when my daughter’s favorite schoolteacher passed away suddenly. The school held a celebration of Mrs. Gross’s life, and the stories were just priceless. Time and time again, fellow teachers talked about how what a great friend she was, selflessly giving of her time to lift others up. Her daughter spoke of the sacrifices her mother had made to give her all the things Mrs. Gross couldn’t have for herself. And every one of her students, every last one, were made to feel that they were the most special person in the classroom. There were no favorites with Mrs. Gross - they were all her favorite. And she made sure they knew it every day, through hugs and songs, smiles and laughter.

Seeing unconditional love in others, we want it for ourselves. Christ was all about unconditional love, so we should try to be more loving, right? But just as we only see real love from that oblique angle, we get it that way too. Instead of trying to be like Christ, we should spend more time with Christ. In doing so, we can’t help but become more like Him. So spend some time with God today. Take a walk and reflect on His creation. Meditate on God’s Word. Over time, your heart will become like His, and unconditional love will overflow. And just like Mrs. Gross, you never know who will see it.
Third Day will be headlining SoulFest Saturday 8/9 at 9:20 pm! Buy your tickets at www.thesoulstore.com

Speaker Highlight: Robin Lane

Robin is founder of Songbird Sings: Healing Trauma One Song At A Time Robin got her start singing on Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” album. Her band Robin Lane & The Chartbusters had the 11th video on MTV first hour. She brings a combination of music education, professional career in music industry, and an array of lived experiences that enables her to offer programs that resonate with, survivors of domestic violence, childhood abuse, sexually exploited young women and those with mental health issues and addictions.
Participants are able to tell their story in song. Connection and community are built as stories are shared. Through the powerful combination of lyrics and music, participants begin to find their own voice and a key to their own healing capabilities. The workshops are essentially a talking cure with music. The goal is ending the cycle of abuse focusing on songwriting as a tool for self discovery and as a means to effect social change. 

Hear Robin Lane speak at SoulFest at the Justice Center at 1:15 pm on Friday August 8th and on Saturday August 9th at 12:15 pm. Also check out her music set at the Mercy Street Stage on Friday Aug 8th at 6:20 pm!

Buy SoulFest tickets here!

Artist Highlight: Kari Jobe

Young girls dream about becoming lawyers, fashion designers, nurses or mothers. Kari Jobe knew at 10 that she would be a worship leader. Raised in a Christian home with a father who was a traveling minister, Kari began singing in church when she was 3. She remembers her mother playing worship music in the house while growing up and even recalls the constant tug inside her toward worship. ʺI remember hearing a worship song that applied perfectly to a family that I knew and I knew that I wanted to write songs like that, for hurting people, songs that someone could speak to the Lord when they can’t find the words.ʺ A featured worship leader on Gateway Worship projects, Living for You and Wake Up the World, Kari Jobe released her self-titled debut through Gateway Create Publishing and Integrity Music on February 10, 2009. Produced by Ed Cash, the album contains a collection of worship pop/folk songs written by Kari Jobe as well as co-writes with worship leaders/songwriters Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, Mia Fieldes, Ed Cash and Klaus Kuehn. ʺThis album is about hope and life; it’s about lifting the broken off the floor and singing love over them,ʺ says Kari. ʺThe songs create intimate moments and outward shouting, and it’s my hope that these songs find the broken and lift them to a place of praise to God for what he’s done.ʺ

Don’t miss Kari Jobe play at SoulFest Friday August 8th at 7:30 pm on the Revival Stage! Purchase tickets here!

True Love Essay: John Abdulla, Oxfam America

At the center of the Christian faith is this very human being, Jesus Christ, who 2,014 years ago gave his life because he believed so wholly and preached so ardently one revolutionary, overriding virtue: radical and unconditional love.

He challenged the existing paradigms; the worldviews that guided the way people lived their lives and acted towards one another. And he gave special attention to those on the fringes of society; the sick, the poor, the criminals, the forgotten. He called out the glaring inequalities among the human race. For that, he was crucified.

At every chance Jesus had to escape such a brutal death, he chose not to because he would not sell out on humanity. As if that weren’t enough—as if a fellow human being nailed to a cross for preaching radical love wasn’t momentous enough of an event in history from which we could create a role model, we are told that this human being in particular is God’s only son. Pause.

What does this say about the paradigm of Christianity? Think about it: rather than go Liam Neeson on everyone and just obliterate every person who persecuted His son—along with all of humanity for allowing it to happen—this God allows his son to be tortured and horrifically nailed to a cross. What sort of supreme being (and father!) would allow such a thing to happen?

Personally, I turn to the image of God that Archbishop Desmond Tutu so beautifully paints with this story he often references: ”One day a man was traveling through the countryside and he came upon a farmer who was surveying his fields of lush corn swaying in the breeze. And the traveler stopped by the farmer and he said, “Gee, man. What a super job you and God have done. I mean, just look at this wonderful field.” And the farmer kept quiet for a little while, and then after puffing on his pipe, he said, “You should have seen what it looked like when God had it all to himself.”

God has a dream, says Archbishop Tutu. He isn’t up there pulling strings, controlling everything. He gave us free will. And although he wants us to do good, although he wants more than anything for us to unconditionally love one another, he isn’t forcing that upon us. He sent us a model human being. It’s up to us to follow.

A God with that level of faith in us is a God that I want to have faith in.

Christianity challenges us. It has challenged me deeply to act in the face of the glaring inequality I see in the world. Perhaps at no time in my life was this inequality more apparent than when I faced my own personal challenge; a battle with cancer five years ago. Diagnosed days before I would graduate college, it certainly made for an unexpected, perspective-shifting moment. In those moments, we’re so often compelled to ask that question, why me? But throughout my treatment, I resisted.

It isn’t until after being successfully treated that I ask the question, and still do today. Why me? Why am I able to be cured of this complex disease while on the same planet, in the same time, a young person just like me can die from lack of clean water or a simple hydration treatment? Cholera, to name just one example, takes over 100,000 lives each year, but is completely preventable and treatable.

That’s wrong.

We live in a world that is filled with this sort of injustice; a world in which nearly one out of three of us lives in poverty. At Oxfam, we see a brighter future in which no one lacks the basic necessities to live on this planet. Together, we aim to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice.

It is through that mission and our work together that my own faith thrives. Because it is in fighting for equality that I believe we may truly follow the model of unconditional love that God sent us.

OXFAM has two workshops each morning in the Justice Center at 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM, as well as hosting the Hunger Banquet at 4 pm on Saturday 8/9 in the Justice Center! Get your SoulFest 2014 tickets here!

Artist Highlight: For King & Country

Carrying a name that evokes substance and a sense of purpose, for KING & COUNTRY make their debut with music that more than lives up to their clever moniker. Enveloping their insightful lyrics in a sea of ear-grabbing melodies, brothers Joel and Luke have forged a distinctive sound that has earned them an enthusiastic fan base as well as the respect of industry professionals who keep tapping their music for use in high profile TV shows. Together, Joel and Luke ignite each other’s individual passions to form a unique, distinctive voice that blends into simmering sibling harmony, unrivaled by any other collaborative group to date. Born in Sydney, Australia and relocating with their family to Nashville, TN, Joel and Luke remember music being a constant presence in their life. Growing up in a large family of seven kids, the siblings began their creative experimentation early on, soaking up life experiences that would influence their musical future. The group’s strengths are showcased not only through their voices, but their name as well. The name, ‘for KING & COUNTRY,’ was decided on after several attempts to find a name that appropriately encompasses who they are as musicians as well as their passionate personalities.

Come and enjoy For King & Country on the Revival Stage at 4:55 pm and on the Mercy Street Stage at 11:00 pm on Thursday August 7th by purchasing your tickets here