This article was originally published by The Mennonite

My top 10 songs: Patrick Ressler

Each month, we’ll feature a playlist from a different individual across Mennonite Church USA reflecting on their top 10 most important songs. This month’s playlist comes from Patrick Ressler. Patrick is a queer, genderqueer composer and performer currently living in Philadelphia and working at the Arden Theatre Company. Patrick claims spiritual homes at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, Pa., Southside Fellowship in Elkhart, Ind., Germantown Mennonite Church in Philadelphia and wherever Pink Mennos gather. A lover of Mennonite hymnody, Patrick recently released an album of soulful meditations on hymns entitled “Stand By Me: Hymns of Hope & Healing.”

You can listen to Patrick’s playlist below.

1. Alexander Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda): Musical theater makes up a significant portion of my music library and Broadway’s “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda is inspirational to my own dreams of writing musicals.

2. Birds of the Borderland (The Stray Birds): This gorgeous song reminds me of sweaty high school summers at bluegrass festivals. An old friend from Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, Maya de Vitry, is one-third of The Stray Birds.

3. God, Give Me Faith Like a Child (Tice/Morris): This song reminds me of my days in Goshen, Ind., (a second home) after graduating from Goshen College. I was glad to sing on this Tice/Morris collaboration album and alongside the guitar stylings of Matthias Stegmann on this track.

4. Maps (Kron/Tesori): The musical “Fun Home” is about a 40-year old lesbian piecing together her family’s history leading up to her closeted gay father’s suicide. This musical inspires me to tell queer and genderqueer stories–my stories–on stage.

5. Run Til Finish (Smokie Norful): A lot of my musical inspirations are Black Gospel artists, and Smokie Norful is one of my favorites. I appreciate the simplicity of the production (piano and voice), which eliminates all barriers to hearing Smokie’s incredible, emotive voice.

6. The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is Out to Get Us! (Sufjan Stevens): Sufjan Stevens inspires me to meld the sacred and secular as a singer songwriter. This track is hauntingly beautiful to me.

7. I Guess You Could Call Her (Patrick Ressler): This is a song from my first original musical, “Home of the Trojans”. In this rather silly allegorical retelling of Greek Mythology, Killian Heele (Achilles) sings a sweet song to a crush. This song reminds me of the best of my college days–my closest friends coming together to make art.

8. Comfortable (Titus Burgess): Tituss Burgess always sings to my soul. This song is a prayer for all of my LGBTQIA siblings in the Mennonite Church.

9. My life flows on (arr. Patrick Ressler): In the past year, I released an album of soulful meditations on well-loved “Mennonite hymns.” Written as a response to Mennonite Church violence against LGBTQIA people, I felt compelled to sing these hymns as prayers for healing. I based this arrangement on Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major (Prelude) and was glad to have my friend Justin Yoder play.

10. Move On (Stephen Sondheim): “Anything you do, let it come from you – then it will be new. Give us more to see.”

Listen to Patrick’s playlist on Spotify:

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

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