The HEART of War

This month we are exploring the theme of “What would it mean to live as a person of heart. This Remembrance Day I chose to explore the place of heart and humanity in war.

I have never been to war, never worn anything more threatening than a sports team uniform. No ancestor of which I am aware has ever been to war in six generations. I don’t say that as a point of pride, for our family’s machine shop constructed materiel for the world wars and the workers were forbidden enlistment.

I say this to suggest that I know nothing of which I speak today, not first hand or even second. I never heard the guns or witnessed the kind of carnage described in Major Diespecker’s poetic prayer. There are some here who have much more direct knowledge than I do.

But I did grow up in a generation of young boys defined by war. Our youthful television years were filled with “Combat”, “The Rat Patrol”, “12 O’Clock High” and even “Hogan’s Heroes”. The first book I checked out of the school library at age 8 was “We Were There: Pear Harbour” a book about a little girl and boy witnessing the famous attack. We never played Cowboys and Indians. We played Allies and Nazis. For my ninth birthday Dad took me and my friends to see Henry Fonda in “Battle of the Bulge”, just one in a long list of war films that inspired a fascination with the genre. And later that same year the Viet Nam war became a North American reality. I do know young American friends who went off to that conflict. I saw them return and discovered post-traumatic stress long before it became an identified ‘syndrome’. It was them who caused me to first see the portrayal of war in all those films as largely a false thing, a recruiting and propaganda tool.

Those of us who have only known peace in our land can’t really understand what it means to go to war. Perhaps that’s why generations of soldiers have returned and remained silent, keeping the struggles with their demons of memory to themselves. One of the most powerful sequences to me in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” was that it was told as a recollection. It’s a story of a squad sent to find and bring home a particular soldier whose brothers had all been killed.. Based on a real policy, the US government wanted to bring at least one son home to his mother. Ironically six or seven men have to give up their lives to get him back.

The film opens with the now elderly Ryan visiting the graveyard of those comrades in France along with his family on the 60th anniversary of D-Day. He recalls – no relives the sacrifices the men sent to save him. The 60 years of silence takes its toll. Tears stream down his face as vividly comes back to him, a story I doubt he has ever spoken aloud.


There is no redeeming war. There is nothing nice and neat and tidy about it. The battlefield is a bloody, place, disgusting beyond our imagining. It is inhuman in the extreme and there are different rules, different moralities at play. People do things they would never contemplate doing in ‘real life’ – and yet war is also as real as it gets. Those who have never known it – soldier or civilian – cannot truly comprehend. It is an alternate universe where our peaceful laws of social propriety do not apply. And for that reason, parenthetically, I do not think we have the right to judge, either. Only those who have lived it have that right.

It would be easy to point from afar and argue that war is de-humanizing in the extreme. The death and destruction and violence are bad enough, but what it does to survivors in some cases seems even worse. It is a heartless business. And I won’t argue with any of those statements.

And yet, it is a cauldron in which heart and humanity do exist. Like dandelions that grow in the cracks of asphalt, like the larks that managed to fly over Flanders Fields, the human heart finds ways to keep steering us even in these most horrific conditions. Christine Maxwell-Osborn’s story is just one case, a story of two friends, one who gives his life just to comfort his buddy who is dying. It is a tale almost biblical in it’s morality. To us in a peaceful world it may not make any sense, but like I said, who are we to judge what makes sense in a place where reason and compassion are by definition in short supply?

While I cannot claim the title pacifist in good conscience, I do not condone war. But people go to war. We always have, and while I love the hopeful hymns, people likely always will. But Remembrance Day is not the time to preach anti-war. It is the day to try to understand the suffering and the sacrifice of the women and men caught in war.

We have an obligation to try to understand, for they are our countrywomen and countrymen. Like it or not, they are fighting in our name. I am proud that the citizens of Canada have come to understand that we can oppose the wars our governments conduct without hating the soldiers who fight them. We saw the terrible price the US paid and is paying for shunning its Vietnam veterans. We should not do the same thing. Soldiers are willing to go to war, but few actually wish to do so. We need to care for the beating hearts inside the uniforms.

What makes war fascinating – if that’s the right word- is that it tests the humanity of the participants as nothing else can. We all learned growing up that fighting is bad, that killing is terrible, yet here is a whole consuming construct built on exactly the opposite moral vision.

War is kill or be killed. And when those are arguably the only two possibilities available, where then, lies humanity? Certainly there are pacifists who accept jail over combat, or work as ambulance drivers and medics. That is an expression of heart in warfare, and sometimes a very brave one.

And there are those who through small acts of kindness or creativity or introspection try to tend their hearts, try to remember their values in every moment they can, in every moment when survival is not the critical issue. I am not qualified to say whether or not there is honour in war, but there are certainly honourable people who go to war or who are overrun by it.

In the seeming psychopathic construct of the battlefield, there can be a desperate grasping for human contact, little gestures that affirm humanity. In the limestone tunnels at Vimy Ridge even today you can find little works of art carved into the soft rock by some soldier reminding himself what beauty looks like.

There are countless stories of soldiers doing little kindnesses for civilians, and animals, and even for enemy soldiers, and the famous and poignant WWI tale where during a Christmas cease fire, Germans and Allies alike joined in singing “Silent Night”.

The heart that is at the core of all our values will creep out when it can, even in the most terrible times.

In June of 1916, Cpl. Alexander Robertson wrote a poem called Thou Shalt Love Thine Enemies about seeing the items found on a dead German soldier

They were not meant for too curious eyes
Or our imaginations to surmise
From what they tell much that they leave until.
Strangers and foemen we, yet we behold,
Sad and subdued, thy solace and thy cheer.
Even here we see these as thou did’st appear,-
Tall, with fair hair, blue eyes. Heinrich the name…

Thou had’st a wife and children: on this card
They are depicted; on another, marred
And soiled and crushed, thy mother too, we see.
And here are cards with rustic eulogy
Of scenes thou did’st know, old woods of pine
Through which doth pass a sunlit railway line.
These letters of thy wife, o warrior slain
No anguish tell, they give no hint of pain,
Cheerful her words, although the heart did weep
In solitude, thy babes of hers asleep…

Of thee, alas, thy children cannot keep
a single memory…

It seems that in the pauses between the skirmishes and attacks and major battles there are moments for reflection, moments for taking the heart out from under the helmet and touching our humanity like some reassuring talisman.

It is as if such simple gestures, musing on the life of a dead foe, handing a candy bar to a child, sharing a meal with a comrade, gazing again at a letter or picture from home, it is these heart strings that remind us of who we are while struggling to survive while trapped down some nightmarish rabbit hole of warfare.

Within a few days of writing that poem, Cpl. Robertson went missing in an attack near Serre in France on July 1, 1916. His body was never found.

Perhaps the best handholds a soldier’s heart can grasp are twofold. First there is the love of family and then there is a sense of purpose or hope. To put oneself at such terrible risk demands a good reason. In Canada’s world wars there seemed to be a widespread belief that our way of life was deeply threatened by those who made war on us. Whether that is true or not is a debate for another day. But we heard John read of Major Diespecker’s prayer for Victory, really a prayer for his and his nation’s humanity. Let me close with his words

Then dear God, make us worthy of Victory.
Give us the strength to keep our pledge
To make a better world…
Not the world we’ve known,
The world of power against power,
The world of breadlines and bitterness,
A world that would not let a man work,
A world that watched unmoved
While the beasts of aggression
Swallowed the little people one by one;…

Give us the power and purpose
To make children laugh;
To give work to the men who fought for us;
And comfort to the women who suffered;
And peace to the aged…
Hope to the devastated,
And release to the enslaved,
Food to the hungry,
And strength to the weak.
Let this hilltop be the world,
Soft, green and eternally at peace,…

This wonderful, magnificent human heart of ours is a most marvellous thing, my friends. If we tend to it and listen to it, it can help us survive even something so terrible as war.


Reflection on Events in Ottawa October 26, 2014

For the most part, I have been a proud Canadian this week. When terror-like violence – albeit on a very small scale- arrived in Quebec and Ottawa, our security and police forces responded quickly, effectively and, it appears, appropriately.

Likewise the majority of our major media responded with balanced and fair reporting, reporting designed to calm fears, provide pertinent information and to stick to known facts. Compared to the media response of our American friends there was an astonishing lack of conclusion-leaping, political soapboxing and crisis fuelling. Even now as the lives of the killers are being picked apart there are more “disturbed” descriptions out there than “extremist” labels.

And across our land, while there has no doubt been xenophobic muttering in some quarters, interesting since both young men were Canadians, there has been a refreshing lack of violent or crude response, though I mourn that the Cold Lake mosque was defaced with graffiti. And yet even here is cause for pride as the people of Cold Lake turned out in numbers to clean up the walls and stick up posters reading “You are home” and “Love your neighbour”. As Journal columnist Paula Simons tweeted Saturday, “Thank you, Cold Lake, for redeeming our faith in Alberta and Albertans. Today, you are the most beautiful city in Canada.”

Our calm and restraint has made me proud.

I grieve mightily for Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo their families and colleagues, and I celebrate the bold actions of Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at-Arms who has become the poster boy for, “Just doing my job.” I wish he didn’t have to do that job, but he did it calmly and well. He likely saved lives.

Others did their jobs as well, not the ones they are paid to do, but the ones that are part of the job description of ‘citizen’ and ‘human being’. The citizens of Cold Lake are one example. But for me the iconic image of this week will not be bullet holes in Parliament, but the photo of crowd of people who rushed towards the gunfire to give Cpl Cirillo first aid in his last minutes. Among them was Barbara Winters who held him telling him he was loved, he was brave and that his family was proud of him.

How can we fail to be proud of those fellow Canadians?

Some commentators have talked about a loss of innocence in this land last Wednesday, but that’s nonsense. We all knew it was possible, and many thought something was inevitable. We have seen our share of mass murders and hate crimes before. We have seen our deranged killers. Each claimed to be serving some kind of perverted purpose. This isn’t as new as it looks. So when the time came, citizens and security forces alike knew just what to do.

Our first response was something of which we can all be proud.

But I do fear what comes next. I fear exploitation of these dramatic, but ultimately – to all except families and friends- insignificant acts. I fear what Mr. Harper and his government might do. The fact is, our security measures by and large worked. The violence was limited to the kinds of acts that could not realistically have been prevented no matter how large and intrusive our security services. True, the hit and run driver was on a watch list. The gunman was not. It is likely we will have to step up security to a degree, but the question that concerns me is to what degree?

Mr. Harper is now fast tracking a bill to increase the powers of our security services, powers that would give CSIS, for example, the ability to arrest and detain, It is not a power they currently have. I am troubled by that. I worry about oversight and boundaries of power.
I fear this will become the fulcrum for the erosion of our rights and freedoms to an inappropriate degree, to a degree that the incidents themselves do not warrant.

And that will not leave me feeling very proud at all.

Religious Terrorism meets Religious Liberalism

Brian Kiely:

An excellent example of living our Principles into the world. It’s also a good reminder that our congregation (every congregation) has a plan in place for handling an intrusion like this. Many years ago I remember attending a service in San Francisco which was disrupted by a disturbed individual In that case as well, the minister graciously stopped the service, spent a few minutes with the man, arranged for a further meeting after the service while ushers respectfully led him to a safe place where they could begin to help get him the care he needed. Nothing makes me prouder that seeing moments where our UU values are put to the test and come up as more than adequate to the situation. Bravo, NO UU’s.

Originally posted on And the stones shall cry:

This past Sunday, something pretty scary happened at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans (First UUNO).  Operation Save America, a fundamentalist anti-abortion organization that is known for descending upon abortion clinics and making life a living hell for anyone coming or going, chose to land in one of our congregations.  Several members of OSA showed up at First UUNO as if there to attend worship, and during the service stood up and began verbally accosting the worshippers and pushing anti-abortion pamphlets into their hands.

I don’t think they were prepared for what followed.  That Sunday, First UUNO was commissioning the College of Social Justice youth leaders who had been gathering all week.  The youth leaders immediately circled in and began singing.  Rev. De Vandiver, a New Orleans-based Community Minister who was leading worship that morning, asked the protesters to please respect the worship space and if they couldn’t…

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Pride: Parade and Interfaith Celebration

Saturday, June 7 about 40 of us marched in the Pride Parade.  If you missed it, there is a clip of us passing the Media Stand on the UCE Facebook page. You might have to scroll down a bit.10423839_10203213026679566_9107738674686155921_n

The next day at Churchill Square, Rev. Audrey Brooks and I were among a host of participants offering insights, wisdom and prayers at the First Annual Interfaith Pride Service, backed up by the combined voices of Chorealis and Edmonton Vocal Minority (pictured)


Here is what we offered.

A Unitarian Pride Prayer

Brian:  The Unitarian Church of Edmonton has been a friend of the Pride Movement since before it was a Pride movement, since before the acronym LGBTQ was even coined.

Audrey:  In the 1970’s our minister at the time, Rob Brownlie encouraged our congregation to support Gay and Lesbian people and so we started holding pot-luck dinners and dances so these marginalized folks would have a safe place to meet.

Brian: in 1974 Rob performed our first same sex wedding – called a Service of Union – and we have been doing them ever since.  Nationally our Unitarian Church raised a strong liberal religious voice for getting same-sex marriages legalized in Canada.

Audrey: Since the 1970’s LGBTQ people have openly held every office available in the Unitarian Church in Canada including congregational leaders, ministers, Lay Chaplains, Religious Educators and national President.

Brian:  The First of the Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles we honour affirms “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”  To us that means EVERY person

Audrey:  We are proud to be allies of the pride movement in Canada and around the world, so let us pray:

Brian:  Spirit of Life, as we gather in our wonderful city’s public square celebrating Pride, let us first give thanks.

Audrey: Let us give thanks for all that has been accomplished in the past 40 years.  Let us be grateful for the pioneers of the LGBTQ movement who had the courage to speak out, often at great personal risk.

Brian:  Let us be grateful for the allies who joined them in declaring hate and prejudice to be wrong.  Let us be grateful for the legal minds who set aside personal prejudices and determined that the law of human rights must apply to everyone equally and without reservation.  Let us be grateful for the political leaders and the police who choose to see people – not Gay and Straight people.

Audrey: And let us acknowledge that the struggle is far from over.  As long as there is hate, as long as there is bullying of LGBTQ teens and adults, as long as there are places in the world where being different is a threat to life, then Pride must keep marching.

Brian: Spirit, help us not grow too comfortable with our victories and our progress.  Help us remember those who are still trapped in places where their rights are not honoured and their lives are not safe, both here and abroad.  This week let us celebrate, but let us not forget that next week there will be work to be done…by all of us.

Together: Amen


Gathering the National Clan

It was the yearly gathering of the clan…about the 28th or so version I have attended. The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) Annual Conference and Meeting happened over the May long weekend, this time in Montreal. But today I will just speak to the Friday business meeting and not the conference itself.


So what goes on? Well, there are reports of course, and the receiving of financial statements, the passing of a budget in principle (a largely balanced one) and elections – though they are never contested. Being a Board member is a lot of volunteer work. New members are usually recruited by a hard working Nominating committee.

But the meat, if you will, usually falls into two categories: new national initiatives and social justice.

Last year there was a huge report on democracy and transparency within the CUC that was well debated and adopted almost in its entirety. This year we learned about plans for implementation of that report and approved a board work plan (see below).We also approved the budget in principle and heard some extensive discussion about the staff plans for the next few years. Most exciting will be the development of communications platforms and opportunities to better connect Canadian UU’s. (See the funding t-shirt photo item after this column!)

Passive Surveillance Urgent Motion
There was one an urgent action item (that means that it’s ‘breaking news’ and could not fit the regular resolution timeline. Read it here:.

The motion objected to the “pervasive surveillance” news that broke in January. Essentially the government is making warrant less requests for private telecommunications info to the tune of millions each year. This is deemed legal even though there is no Parliamentary oversight. It is a challenging issue: balancing national security versus of right to privacy. There was some discussion but overall a great deal of support. It passed easily.

The surprise debate!

The surprise debate came over what is typically an easy vote. The CUC has a study process where a team of volunteers sends out information about an issue for study. From the feedback is developed a proposed justice resolution.

Usually the creation of these study groups is a no brainier, a fait accompli, a near unanimous vote to go ahead. Not so this year!

The issue was Palestinian-Israeli conflict. You can read the proposed resolution here: resolution

The actual call for a study group was benign enough, but the supporting documents were seen by many to be heavily pro-Palestinian. The perceived imbalance was a cause for concern. The other issue that got raised had to do with a larger question of should we be expending limited volunteer resources on a question on which we have little chance of having an effect when there are so many significant social issues to address in Canada.

The debate was long and passionate. There were many who perceive a call to action on any injustice we see must be done. Others equally argued that this was likely to be divisive in many churches even as we discuss it.

In the end – in a nice procedural move -the motion was suspended without vote in hopes that a better approach be crafted. Why a nice move? It was clear that there was too much division and concern about the way the proposal was written. Few wanted to defeat it, but even fewer wanted to pass it. So it was suspended by an over 2/3 vote. This suggests it was the best solution. To make it better the ‘leader of the opposition’ rose to make a lovely short speech in tribute to the good hearts and good intentions behind the proposal. Loud applause ensued.

This is democracy in action. It’s messy, passionate, heartfelt and even hurtful at times. But decisions get made given the best information at the time.

See you in our beloved church

Religious Conviction and Choice

“Can you speak to some first and second year medical students about abortion and strong religious conviction?” Sometimes my job offers interesting opportunities.

The request came from the Medical Students for Choice club at the U of A.  About a dozen of them gathered in late April for a lunch time conversation.

Of course I revealed that I do in fact have a strong religious conviction on the issue.  I have long supported a woman’s right to choose and to make decisions about her own body.  I base my stand in part on our Principles. I have felt that way since back in the early 1980’s when we were marching in defence of Dr. Morgentaler’s clinic in Toronto.  Naturally others with different religious values can and do take a different view.  That’s fine.

But the real conversation was about the limits religious conviction must have in the public discourse and the making of both law and hospital practice.

For example, my religious belief in choice (grounded in our Principles) does not allow me to insist that any given physician should be forced to perform a procedure against their conscience.  Indeed, if I believe in choice, I have to concede that a doctor may choose to refuse.  No problem, especially in a city like Edmonton where there are a lot of doctors.

But what is the responsibility of a faithful physician of any stripe to their patient seeking an abortion? Doctors today must seek ‘informed consent’ before any procedure can take place.  The consent part is clear enough.  The informed part can be the challenge.  I suggested that the physician’s responsibility was to provide the full range of options to their patient no matter how they felt about those options.  That’s a professional obligation, one in which personal belief should play no part.

To me that means that a willing service provider should be discussing options other than abortion, just as an unwilling doctor must be open to referring a patient to another doctor.  The religious belief of the doctor (or any health care provider) cannot be a factor in determining what information will or will not be shared.

In the same vein, I also suggested that some of these young people would no doubt be in a position one day to set hospital policy.  It would be unethical for them to use that power to block the provision of services that are legal and covered under public health care.

But the richest part of the conversation came when we discussed the emotional needs of the whole patient.  We shared some case studies that showed clearly that few women decide to abort lightly on in a cavalier fashion.  The doctor needs to respect the process that led to the woman’s decision.  It can be emotionally torturous and isolating.  It is a decision that lasts a lifetime no matter how ‘right’ it might be for that woman.

The physician’s personal views are irrelevant, and trying to influence the decision one way or the other can be emotionally hurtful.  And since their professional obligation is to the total well being of the patient, they have to be willing to treat the emotional need as well as the medical concerns.

Any physician who abandons compassion is not acting out of sound religious values, for all faith teachings are grounded in compassion.

“The difference between a good physician and a great one,” I concluded, “is not technical competence, but their compassion and concern for the complete needs of their patients.”


Including Christianity in our Search

A couple of weeks ago our choir Chorealis offered a remarkable service revisiting the Lord’s Prayer in words and the 23rd Psalm in Music.  It was beautiful and well done.  The service was entitled, “A Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning: A Case Study”.  I began with Chorealis Co-Director Karen Mills offering this personal reflection and issuing a challenge to the open mindedness of UU’s.  It bears reprinting.

You can see the entire service at our UCE website. – Brian

Reflection by Karen Mills

When I first came to UCE, about 24 years ago, one of the very first conversations I had was with a (then) matriarch of the congregation. She asked me about myself and I said I played piano and was interested in music. She replied, almost with a warning tone, “That’s nice dear, but we DON’T sing.” Hmmm…. that bugged me.

One other thing I noticed over my first few visits was that any time words like spirit, prayer, soul, or what might be considered “spiritual language” was used in a service, there was an immediate, physical, negative reaction from congregants. Eyes would roll, arms would be crossed, and there would be harrumphing. If the Bible was quoted, the eye rolling would change to glares. That never happened with readings from any other source.

Now, these words were usually uttered by a guest speaker. But, if the minister or a member or the congregation did use them as part of the service, they immediately apologized or couched it by saying something like, “or substitute the word of your choice.”. Hmmm… that REALLY bugged me.

It bugged me not because I have any particular affection for or connection to biblical language, but because this behaviour seemed to be such a complete contradiction of the very principles that the congregation advocated so strongly for in every other situation.

Here was a group that publicly and adamantly advocated for diversity and tolerance.

Here was a group who held open-mindedness, seeking for truth and meaning, and the inherent worth and dignity of every human as their unifying bond and duty to uphold.

These were the values and principles that drew me to UCE. But why did they only apply if the person or source was anything but Christian? How could you have a free and responsible search for truth and meaning if you rejected one of the most influential and wide-reaching sources – Christianity – out of hand?

And why did I keep coming back?

Well, the answer to that last question is easy; I’m made up of about equal parts of optimism, naïveté, and stubbornness. If I see something I think should be changed, I’ll either charge in to change in – not really thinking about the consequences or details until I’m well into the thick of things – or I’ll trust that reason will prevail and people will change to my way of thinking ☺.

And, I really liked the people. They were interested and interesting. Their curiosity was insatiable. They truly wanted to make the world a better place.

So, with a lot of encouragement and support, I started organizing some singing. And, as it turns out – we do sing!

And as I got to know the people in the congregation, I found the answer to my question about the reaction to Christian sources.

Through conversations, I learned that it wasn’t so much the words themselves that they were rejecting, but the associations that came with those words. Many in the congregation at that time had painful experiences in Christian churches. They were told not to question. They were shut down if they offered a differing viewpoint. They were shunned in their communities and workplaces if they questioned the church or the Bible. More than one person told me that if they didn’t belong to a church, they couldn’t have been promoted at work. It’s hard to imagine now, but that was the world as it was in the 50s and 60s. And there weren’t many other faith communities for them to seek out. And if they were gay or lesbian, the rejection was even more severe. So UCE became their safe haven and longed-for community where they could finally question and discuss and be with like-minded people.

It appeared to me that, as a way of coping with the hurts from their pasts, many sort of “threw the baby out with the bathwater.” Any Christian references were simply rejected. But, in rejecting the “biblical packaging” they lost any of the wisdom that might have been inside the package.

All of us do the same thing, in different ways. Perhaps we’ve had a bad experience with a co-worker – after that, it’s hard to hear their ideas and feedback with an open mind.

Or maybe we attend an event that features a speaker with very different political leanings. Can we set that aside effectively enough to really hear them and see if there is something in their message that may have value for us?

To me, this is the “responsible” part of a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We are called to consider every source and weigh its potential and only then can we reject or accept it.

And then, when we do find a message that has meaning, can we reframe it in a way that makes it more palatable to our ears, minds, and hearts?

Can we really do this? I believe we can. In fact, I know we can, because I’ve seen it. And here’s where the “case study” part comes in. Just from my story this morning, you can see that this congregation has changed. As new people joined and new ideas were put forward and some of the old hurts became less intense, our collective outlook changed.

We’re much more open to “spiritual” language now.  We’re more open to looking at all sources for wisdom. This was most recently illustrated by the high attendance at Brian’s course on Jesus this past fall.

And I think this shift is great; but it has taken 20 years. Can we speed it up? (In truth, I’m made up of equal parts optimism, naïveté, stubbornness, and impatience.)

Well, I think we can do that too. Being open-minded was the first step. Now, if we become more adept at taking the wisdom we find and “packaging” it in a way that speaks to us, acceptance may come more quickly and we can start incorporating that wisdom into our lives more easily.

So, here’s part two of the case study. This morning, we’re taking two classic Christian texts – the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm (The Lord Is My Shepherd) – and showing how different composers and authors have adapted their messages into packaging that better suits their own needs and styles. We hope some ideas will strike a chord with you and open doors to new meaning in old messages.