By DAVID CRUMM
Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine
What Belongs to God is a book on a mission.
It contains the multi-media prophetic message of the late David Livingston Edwards, who died of cancer in 2019.
Why do we use that powerful word “prophetic”? Because David was a prophet. He lived his life urging everyone he met, he taught, he pastored, he serenaded with his songs that we are called to always—as the Study Guide at the conclusion of his book is titled—to be “Choosing Peace.”
This book is launching on May 25, 2021, with a publicly streamed hour-long presentation about the book’s message from David’s family, friends and his publisher.
A summary of David’s life that captures the warm, heart-felt storytelling you will find in the pages of this book comes from his obituary:
A kinder, more peace-loving man would be hard to find. He adored his family. He loved fishing and singing especially with children, hiking the trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking walks in the woods and swimming in the ocean. He cherished quiet time alone, reading and studying scripture, exploring the sacred writings of other religions, writing and composing music and sitting to reflect and think. Because of his deep commitment to the teaching of Jesus, he became a pacifist and a conscientious objector to all violence and war. During the time of the Vietnam War he did two years of required alternative service to the draft by working as an orderly on the cardiac/surgical unit of Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Though David contributed in many ways to what is good in this world, he considered his work as a conscientious objector to be the most important contribution of his life.
That 150-word portrait of David’s life and prophetic mission captures the spiritual adventure that unfolds in the pages of this new book. This is why this singer-songwriter-pastor-teacher appears on the front cover of this book with his banjo, sitting along the banks of a stream in the Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s why a photograph of him singing songs with children appears on the back cover.
That’s why the covers of this book contain a multi-media array of resources you can use to talk about peacemaking with family, friends and anyone in your community who might be inspired by this story, these songs and this wise overview of the role the Bible calls Christians to play in this world.
In the midst of a global community that is shattered along dozens of racial, ethnic, religious and nationalist lines today—David Livingston Edwards is calling all of us, especially Christians, back to our roots as the people who welcome and love our neighbors.
This Truly Is a Multi-Media Treasure Trove
When this book manuscript first came to the Front Edge Publishing team more than a year ago, our initial response was: “The world needs this book right now.”
Our second response was: “How can we publish a book about David without hearing his music spring from these pages?”
So, we are pleased that David’s family and friends assembled this website: http://WhatBelongsToGod.com—and our team of editors added convenient links within the pages of this book to key songs within that website. As you read your way through these pages, you can use the codes provided to hear David sing to you.
As you get ready to visit that website, now, we want to point out a few of the gems you’ll want to explore:
“THE BOOK” section takes visitors to either a summary of the book—or to text from the Discussion and Action Guide that also appears in the final 17 pages of every copy of the book, whether that’s Paperback, Hardcover or eBook. Showcasing the Discussion and Action Guide on the website ensures that you can look over the many suggestions for individual and group reflection, even before you buy a copy of the book. (Interested in a group order to plan a discussion or retreat? There’s a convenient link on the website to contact the Edwards team—or email us at [email protected])
“THE MUSIC” section may overwhelm first-time visitors, because it contains so many choices from David’s many years as a singer-songwriter. That section of the website summarizes what you’ll find:
This music was created and performed by the Rev. David L. Edwards. He wrote music for worship, music for children, and music for the enjoyment of all. David recorded seven CDs, and created music used in the Chalice Hymnal of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. His music remains as an expression of his life, and of life itself. Kaye Edwards wants to share the music her husband created to add meaning to all our lives. On this website, you can hear and download MP3 files of his songs. You can download PDFs of his music sheets. You can download more than 40 responsive psalms to use in services of worship. Please use these resources freely, using the copyright notice shown at the top of each resource page.
PLEASE NOTE: Any church leaders—including teachers, preachers and worship planners—will immediately understand that this is a remarkable gift to the world. The Edwards team already has prepared an easy way for you to use these resources, including how to freely share this material in a responsible way.
If you’re involved in the life of your congregation, please send a link to this story to worship leaders who you think may want to use some of these resources. They likely will thank you for passing along the news.
Ready to Invite Friends to Discuss this Book with You?
We can help with a full-color, printable handbill you can tack up on a bulletin board—or share in a newsletter—or post to your own website. This handbill includes a blank space at the bottom for you to write in details about where your own class or other local program will be held.
Simply right click on this image and save it to your own computer.