Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Singing the Lord’s song to a new beat

Minneapolis group shares gifts, witness

Kids these days. How often do we hear people, even ourselves, wondering just
what young people are up to? And usually there’s some judgment related to
how it wasn’t that way “when I was young.”

Hmm. I wonder.

One group of young people is busy praising God and welcoming the stranger
through “urban contemporary” music. The excitement, energy, and invitation
offered by these folks is tangible, turning news into good news for people
who might not yet have heard it. Hmm, kids these days.

RJC, the Redeemer Jump Crew, or also know as JUMP, was founded when a
group of youth pastors expressed concern that the church wasn’t doing
enough to engage young people. “We felt we could embrace youth culture
and use their gifts and talents to praise God in a church setting,” said David
Pellinen, one of the group’s founders.

Pellinen himself is a break dancer who “became sick of the secular scene.” He
said, “I really need to dance as a creative outlet, but don’t want to go to the

William Jones has been with the group for five years, three years as a
performer. “At first, I just was doing it to do it,” Jones said. “But I could
eventually see I was touching people …. It’s like hitting a game-winning
basketball shot.”

“I know people that don’t believe in God,” said Nicholas Gordon. “By doing
this, we can get the message about God out … in a way they can understand.”

At a recent practice, the group was rehearsing “Rejoice,” with a chorus of
“Creation sings your praise; this is the day that God has made; rejoice,
rejoice, again I say rejoice.” Group members lay down lines of poetry around
the chorus. Another of the tunes riffs off of the words “Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death….”

Relevancy and poignancy quickly become clear when triteness could be a
danger. But just as the Monks of Weston Priory or Johann Bach have written to
the depth of their experiences, JUMP members are contributing a new song.

To share the gifts of God

Reborn. By RJC. Peace Palace recording studio, 1830 Glenwood Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55404. 2009. jumpraise@

RJC (Redeemer Jump Crew), released Reborn, the group’s first CD, on New
Year’s Day, at one minute after midnight, to be exact. After an evening filled
with music and celebration, Reborn seemed like an apt title for the offering.

With tunes like “Rejoice,” “Holy Bible,” “Walking Humbly,” and “Corner Stone,”
this recording offers new wineskin for recognizable drink. With a driving beat
accompanying lyrics that can range from psalm to praise, listeners of any age
will be inspired and encouraged.

Those who want to see the group in concert can also do that. The group will
be performing at Minnetonka United Methodist Church, 17611 Lake Street
Extension, Minnetonka, MN, on February 22. To confirm the time, contact
Cynthia Prosek at 952/474-4114.

To purchase Reborn, contact David Pellinen at or