Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CFT Gathering has been cancelled, and replaced by a year-long online presentation series, The Humble Gathering.

The information below remains available for archival purposes only.

2020 CFT Gathering Music

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Elizabeth (Libbie) Schrader

Friday Night Musical Entertainment
Workshop Presenter

Elizabeth Schrader
Elizabeth Schrader (photo Chad Rancourt)

At the 2020 CFT Gathering, attendees will be treated to not just one, but two world-class musical performances.  Elizabeth (Libbie) Schrader will be sharing her music with Gathering attendees on Friday night. (She will also be presenting a workshop.)

Before getting involved in her intriguing Ph.D. research in the Religion Department at Duke University, Schrader enjoyed a successful musical career. Her studies focus on Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of John, textual criticism, and feminist theology.

She was the first winner of the Pantene Pro-Voice competition in 2001, after a performance opening for Jewel at SummerStage in New York’s Central Park. You can watch a video of that performance here. Prizes included a nationwide club tour with Poe at venues including the House of Blues in New Orleans and the Roxy in Los Angeles, as well as a demo deal with Atlantic Records.

Schrader’s band also took part in Jewel’s “Soul City Cafe” program for independent artists, and opened three shows on Jewel’s “This Way” tour. She has opened for other artists as diverse as India.Arie, Michelle Branch, Ray LeMontagne, and Rusted Root.

You can purchase and preview her music on iTunes. or CD Baby.

Check out her website here.

Watch the video of Libbie’s song, Magdalene.

Magdalene from Libbie Schrader on Vimeo.

Troubadours of Divine Bliss
Troubadours of Divine Bliss

Troubadours of Divine Bliss

Saturday Night Musical Entertainment
Workshop Presenters

Troubadours of Divine Bliss were a hit at the 2014 CFT Gathering in St. Louis.  They had everyone up on their feet and dancing in the aisles!  We’re thrilled to announce that they will be back with us in 2020 in Cincinnati.

Troubadours of Divine Bliss are an internationally touring music duo and ministers from Louisville, KY, with guitar, accordion, and harmonies “that could melt a stone statue” (BBC Radio Liverpool).  They play a style of music sometimes described as Americana-Spirit, Gypsy-Bluegrass, and Soul-Folk. They’ve been voted “Best Folk Band” in New Orleans and Louisville.

Renee Ananda and Aim Me Smiley have been best friends since their early teens when they met at an evangelical church where Renee’s dad was the pastor and Aim Me’s father, the deacon, kicked Renee’s dad out of the church. They remained best friends, and 12 years later they fell in love.

With a vision of becoming traveling musicians who inspire a revolution of the spirit and courage of the heart, they picked up a guitar and an accordion and moved to New Orleans to become Troubadours of Divine Bliss. Starting as street performers in the French Quarter, they have since toured all over America & Europe for 24 years.

They are spiritual, environmental, and social justice activists who sing of the Love that springs from within, respect for the Earth, human rights, and healing the heart. This is embodied in the community fest they created — Mighty Kindness Hoot — that celebrates all that is kind for the body, soul, and mind.

The Troubadours are musicians, inspirational speakers, writers, celebrants, soul guides, and retreat leaders. In 2018, they birthed Way of the Heart Woods, a Nature Preserve and Retreat Sanctuary in the Hoosier National Forest where they live in love and gratitude.

Check out their website here.

You can purchase and preview their music on iTunes or CD Baby.

Watch some YouTube videos here. (If you’re at work, mute your speakers; this page plays music automatically.)

John Saxon
John Saxon

John Saxon

Piano Accompanist

We’re glad to have John Saxon back!  He’ll be playing piano for us at the beginning of each day, and during the worship service on Sunday morning.

A native Texan, John Saxon’s early loves were math and the piano. He earned two mathematics degrees, intending to teach, but ended up making a career in computer programming instead while continuing piano study on the side.

John’s mathematical bent loved the axiomatic approach to the Bible of his boyhood Seventh-Day Adventist faith, but close scriptural study eventually meant parting ways with inerrancy and, for a time, faith. In the meantime, John’s intuitive side began breaking through at rare moments with trivial bits of foreknowledge, troubling his analytical world view. An honest attempt to study and understand it led him to clairvoyant training with Naomi Horii in 2005, an ongoing healer’s apprenticeship with Michael Tamura, and a reaffirmation of faith.

Visit John’s Piano Readings website here.