Official Web Site
Sara Groves Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Sara Groves lyrics)
Sara Groves Biography
This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful-in Sara's own words -
Every Thursday night for the last 44 years, my grandparents have gone to the Federal Medical Prison in Springfield, MO, a facility for sick or terminally ill prisoners, to hold a Bible study with the inmates. As a rule, Grammie and Granddad never ask the men why they are incarcerated; they just talk, listen, and pray with them. It is to me my favorite image of my Grammie, who in her mid 80's, is small in stature, and is usually a very quiet person. When she identifies a new person in the group, she crosses the room with determination, learns their name and makes sure they feel welcomed. Grammie and Granddad have taught me with their lives, their marriage, their work, and their service what it means to add to the beauty.
In another story, friends of ours are looking back over their 15-year marriage. Five years ago they survived an affair, and in the healing that followed, they had two more children in addition to the two they already had. As we were sitting around the table working on our photo albums, my girlfriend picked up a picture of her family, pointed to her little girl and her baby boy and said, "Mercy. Mercy." Through brokenness and heartbreak, we have cried together and have witnessed together how God can create beauty and love in places that felt full of desolation.
In the wake of the genocide in Rwanda, the families of killers and survivors live side by side in communities trying to sort through the process of justice, and all in an atmosphere of poverty. Our friend Greg heard about the plight of farmers who work year round to grow their coffee crops only to sell them for pennies to a mill. The mills sell the beans for market value while the farmers themselves can barely feed their families. With his company Bull Run Roasting Company behind him, Greg went to Rwanda to build mini-mills for each farm, and to train the farmers to mill their own beans, allowing farmers to sell the beans at market value. Using his creativity in business and heart for people, Greg is hoping to bring a new beginning, new growth, and new hope for beauty to one small war-torn town.
God has invited us, as mere human beings, to add to the beauty of his plan and creation. Unbelievable. The Kingdom of God transcends politics and policy, nationality, gender and race. It transcends the way we do church, and makes us a real live body of believers. It gives us the ability to be very different and still bear with one another. It gives us the power to extend the same kind of grace that has been extended to us, and to love each other with a love that never fails. The very real kingdom of God calls out of us, its inhabitants, beautiful art, creative lives, and redemptive work.
When we started Add to the Beauty, we set out to take beautiful pictures of the songs, to recapture the straight forward feel of Conversations, and couldn't have found a better song photographer than Brown Bannister. It has been a surreal and wonderful experience to work with the man who helped bring Age to Age to my living room over 20 years ago.
Song-writing has traditionally been a very closed process for me, but this album called me out of my writer's nook to co-write with some amazing songwriters like Joel Hanson who gave me the great drive-with-the-windows-down music for Just Showed Up, and Ed Cash who took When It Was Over to a new level by capturing 'the promise to stay while we're working it out' in music. Gordon Kennedy put the heart into Loving a Person, and It's Going to Be Alright with his amazing gift for melodies. Matt Bronlewee helped me top the album off with an eleventh hour gift, and the album's title in Add to the Beauty, and helped complete You are the Sun.
To capture these song pictures we worked with old and new friends. Steve Brewster (drums) and Matt Pierson (bass) returned to astonish us with their gifts on what I think is my most rhythm driven record to date. Scott Dente is a gift as a human being and an acoustic guitar player, and Jerry McPherson's subtle solo on Rewrite this Tragedy (among others) adds to the beauty in my life. Likewise, Tom Bukuvak played like a cry on Loving a Person, and It's Going to Be Alright. Partway through production I realized that this is my first true piano album. In the past we have divided the songs with the piano and the acoustic guitar, but this time around, almost every song features the acoustic piano. Blair Masters and Shane Kiester captured the heart of this album on piano and keys. A guest appearance by John Catchings on cello created one of my favorite moments on the album, Why It Matters.
Adding to the beauty is for all of us: homemakers, businessmen, clergy, car dealers, bowling alley attendants- in the everydayness of the kingdom we are invited to be brilliantly beautiful, all of us moons with no light of our own, invited to shine.
And on that note, this album is dedicated to my Granddad and Grammies who have lived as such brilliant examples of what it means to add to the beauty.
You can do no great things, just small things with great love. -Mother Theresa