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Finding peace in a set of congas

first_imgIn recent decades around the world, drum circles have been started to promote physical and emotional healing and, on the corporate level, to build teamwork and boost morale. Drum circles have also been formed as a prayer tool for a specific faith. Faith Lutheran Church’s mandala of rhythmic power, co-sponsored by the interfaith relations committee of Valley Interfaith Council, is inclusive for people of all beliefs. Pat Fisette, a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Van Nuys, had never heard of drum circles before Christiansen presented the idea at a recent Saturday evening service at her church. “He said it was a lot of fun and multicultural,” said Fisette who went with her husband, Ron, to last Saturday’s drum circle. “I love music, I play the organ, but you don’t have to have musical ability. You don’t have to learn something for hours.” After watching a video on types of drums from around the world and how they’re played, Fisette chose a drum piled in the circle’s center. Sitting on a chair, she experimented beating on different drums through the evening. Due to her rheumatoid arthritis, she used mallets instead of her hands. “I would describe it as down-to-earth and uplifting. You do let out some of your emotions. I closed my eyes and it was like being in a different place,” Fisette said. “I thought it was great. I’ll be back on Saturday.” Peacemaker Drum Circle, 7:30-9 p.m. Saturdays at Faith Lutheran Church, 7500 De Soto Ave., Canoga Park. Call (818) 348-4266. [email protected] (818) 713-3708160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Christiansen, familiar with the drum circles that meet regularly at Venice Beach and Griffith Park, thought the group drumming experience that engages mind, body and spirit would immediately appeal to children as well as teens and adults. “We started it for the young but it’s now for the young at heart,” Christiansen said. “It’s everything I love: It’s interfaith, multicultural, multigenerational, easy and an opportunity for people to gather in peace.” The 4-week-old program was initially met with skepticism. But Christiansen has since been very pleased to see smiles on the faces of those who have cut loose and tapped into their primal roots. “They’re exhilarated, laughing and joyous,” said Christiansen. “When it comes to an end, everyone is glowing. It’s a blast. People tell me they will be back.” Many drum circles have a music guide called a facilitator who leads the group in discovering rhythms. Participants often use drums collected from around the world including djembe, doumbek, congas, bongos and buffalo drums. CANOGA PARK – A pulsating rhythm races around the circle and fills the room as participants smack, pound and tap drums during the Peacemaker Drum Circle, held Saturday nights at Faith Lutheran Church. “Drumming is ancient and primitive. Every culture and faith has drumming traditions – Native Americans, Sufis, Hindus, Buddhists, the ancient Hebrews,” said the Rev. Wayne Christiansen. “There are people around the world banging the drums of war. There’s a lot of saber-rattling and fear-mongering right now. God wants us to live in a peaceful world. We can become united in our peacemaking as we sit together with a drum and become a unified expression.” Faith Lutheran’s drum circle came out of a request from a Spanish-language congregation, which shares the church site, for a music program for children. last_img read more