Like many of us, Simon Miner, having three kids of his own, never had adoption in his purview until he attended a Steven Curtis Chapman. During the concert when Chapman challenged the attendees of the plight of orphans that warmly stirred Miner's soul. As a result, Simon Miner and his wife Rosemary have ever since been ardent advocates of adoption.
"The Dwelling Place Project," the follow-up to Miner's solo debut "Awakenings," is an important record. Its utility is found in more than its highly enjoyable songs, but it's a collection of songs that seeks to bring to an awareness that adoption is and should be at the cynosure of the Christian life. These songs not only celebrate the joy of family, but it also surfaces the truth that we are all adopted sons and daughters of our heavenly Father.
We are honored to be able to catch up with Simon Miner for this exclusive Hallels' interview.
Hallels: You have deep passion for adoption. How did the Lord first birth in you such a vital and glorious calling?
My wife Rosemary has wanted to adopt since she was a little girl. Yet whenever the subject came up in our discussions, I was quick to dismiss it as impractical. "We already have three boys, our house is way too small, and we lack the funds needed to cover the significant costs of adoption," I would say.
Then the Lord began to change my heart. It started at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert that highlighted the plight of orphans and challenged attendees to think about how they could help. I began to feel God's call on our family to adopt. My conviction grew over the months that followed; adoption just kept coming up in conversations, Scripture passages, books, music, movies - God's confirmation seemed to be everywhere. It felt like coming home when I finally accepted and submitted to His will.
Hallels: From a Christian perspective, why do you think God wants us to adopt children?
Adoption and orphan care are all over the place in the Bible. Adoption is very close to God's heart (Deuteronomy 10:18, Psalm 68:5-6), and He commands His people to demonstrate their faith by caring for orphans (Deuteronomy 24:17-22, James 1:27). We are adopted into God's family through Christ (Ephesians 1:3-10), and adoption is one of the ways that we reflect God's image to the world. Interestingly, Jesus Himself was part of an adoptive family with Joseph as His earthly father. I wrote a series of blog posts on this topic to help clarify my own thinking on the matter.
Conservative estimates suggest that there are 130 million orphans in the world today. That's a huge number, and if the Church is going to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we simply must be involved in rescuing and caring for these children.
Hallels: How many children have you adopted? And can you tell us more about them?
We have three biological sons and are in the process of adopting our first child, who will likely be an infant. We're hoping for a little girl, and we even have a name in mind that we feel the Lord gave to us - Sonja Ruth, which means "wise friend."
Hallels: "Dwelling Place," your brand new album, came out of your journey of adoption. Can you tell us more about how the album came about?
As I considered God's calling of adoption for my family, I realized that many of the songs I had recently written centered on the themes of family, community in Christ, and belonging to God. And it wasn't just me; my wife and kids were composing songs, too, and all of these seemed to fit together organically and cohesively. The idea for an album to raise adoption awareness and support was a natural extension of this realization.
Hallels: And this album is very much a family effort, where your own family and your church family were all involved in the recording. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes, in addition to songwriting, everyone in my family has contributed to the creation of The Dwelling Place Project. I played piano, sang, and handled most of the production work. My wife Rosemary played tin whistle on a couple of Communion hymns, and our boys sang songs that they themselves composed. The album artwork consists entirely of pictures drawn and colored by our kids.
Our church has been a tremendous help in bringing this album to life. We actually recorded most of the material in a couple Sunday school classrooms in the church's basement. Most of the musicians on The Dwelling Place Project are members of our congregation's worship team. This album simply would not exist without the love and support of our church family.
Hallels: How would you describe the sound of this new record?
It's a piano-based blend of rockin' worship anthems, hymns, lullabies, love songs, and ballads. The album includes some nice textured sounds like hammered dulcimer and tin whistle. My secret hope is that Rich Mullins and Keith Green would enjoy listening to it.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase this new album or find out more about you, where can they go?
You can purchase The Dwelling Place Project and learn more at hddttp://dwellingplaceproject.com.