“On the Way To Somewhere – April 2006
Book with Audio CD – ISBN: 0687493678
“On the Way to Somewhere” takes me back…to my grandmother’s scrapbooks, to big church suppers, to people who loved me without cause and who, somehow, called the real me out of myself. If the incarnation means that God came to us as a person, Celia Whitler reminds us that God is still at work–and that Christ enters the world again and again in people who bring us grace. — Kenda Creasy Dean | parent, pastor, and professor | author of “Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church” and “The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul-Tending in Youth Ministry” (with Ron Foster) | Associate Professor of Youth, Church and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary
Radiant, talented, winsome, eloquent, personable, committed, faithful….Celia Whitler is all of these and so much more! We see that and feel that over and over as Celia shares these stories from her heart which flow out of her music-related travels and her daily faith journey. Her devotion to Christ is beautiful, as is the music here that bubbles out of her soul. I commend Celia, her book and her music to you highly! — James W. Moore | Pastor, Author, Abingdon Press
I’ve been reading these stories like vitamins – it’s so fortifying to see God at work in so many ways. It makes me expect Him to show up in my own avalanche of details and daily drama. Thank you for having your lens open to catch His handiwork. I really think your book would make a great resource for pastors, always in search of stories and illustrations of how God shows up. And I LOVE the song ‘Live Christ’. It has the timeless simplicity and power of a St. Francis of Assisi song. — Billy Sprague | Singer, Songwriter, Author | MissionMusic.org
Like giving a trusted friend the key to your diary, Celia reveals her world, her warmth, her sincerity, her love of Christ. Her real-life friendship stories teach us how to watch for the good and God in whatever comes our way. The stories, songs and reflection questions make for a treasured gift. — Joani Schultz | Chief Creative Officer | Group Publishing
I love the words put to pen in Celia Whitler’s book “On the Way to Somewhere” because it is the true heart of Celia that comes through. Celia has such a way of touching the truth about each of us in a relevant and authentic way. Celia has become a dear friend through ministry experiences we have shared and every person who meets her feels like they have known her forever. The book describes many of these godly encounters in her life and you see God’s amazing grace throughout the pages. She will make you laugh and cry and count each day and each encounter as a blessing from our heavenly father. — Andrea Minor | Director of Worship and Creative Arts | Calvary Community Church | Westlake, CA
I always enjoy storytelling. Stories allow me to engage in the life of someone else because in their story I find my own story. “On The Way to Somewhere: Stories and Songs for the Journey” Celia has gifted me with wonderful stories and songs of courage, faith, and life. Everyone who picks up this book will find something to relate to, something to cause you to experience God at a deeper level. Thank you Celia for being willing to be vulnerable in the sharing of these stories, for they give us a deeper glimpse of you. — Susan H. Hay | Director | Ministries with Youth | General Board of Discipleship | the United Methodist Church
All of us have been on a “journey” so to speak, as we live out the gospel in our particular contexts. What sets Celia apart is her gift for paying attention along the way, and her ability to glean wisdom from her encounters. “On the Way to Somewhere” allows us to share not only in the stories, but to apply them to our own life situations. Mostly, it has challenged me to pay better attention while on my own way, to those through whom God might instruct and inspire me, as well as recognizing those I have been called to love. Thank you, Celia, for this gift. — John Houlker | Program Ministries | National Ministries | American Baptist Church, USA
“On the Way to Somewhere” is terrific… I know that you are having a profound impact on those you touch in your life! — Kenneth Schwab | Former President, Centenary College of Louisiana
About the book
On the Way to Somewhere: Stories and Songs for the Journey” (ISBN 0687493676) is a collection of sixty stories and six songs (112 page paperback with audio CD). The stories are of real-life encounters Celia has experienced on her journey. Several of the stories about encounters when Celia was literally on the way to somewhere to sing. Each story is followed by questions for reflection.
Though the book has its roots as a graduation gift book, the stories are life-stories that will appeal to anyone on their journey. Some other practical uses of the book are for sermon illustrations, small group studies and personal reflection.
Celia accepted an invitation to write a book for Abingdon Press. It is a collection of stories and thoughts about encounters she has had along her way. Through the years, some of the specific feedback we’ve received about Celia’s expression is that (1) concert listeners are moved by the way Celia introduces songs in addition to being moved by the songs and the singing and (2) newsletter readers appreciate the way Celia sees the world, sees relationships and recounts stories about her insights. The invitation to write this book has felt like a natural next step in her journey.
Celia comments, “I have had the privilege of encountering such wonderful people in random places over the last 15 years of full time singing, traveling and songwriting. I have learned so much from the people I have met. I have been moved and changed by their stories. It has been a joy to remember them and to re-tell their stories.”
This has been an incredibly wonder-filled and consuming project, as any worthwhile undertaking is. Celia has re-connected with many of the folks in the stories and from her past as she has sought permission from acquaintances, friends and family to include their personal stories and has verified details along the way. A very special thanks to those who allowed Celia to tell their stories.
Here is a behind-the-scenes look at “On the Way to Somewhere”: The book aims at easing the transition from high school to college. The 112 page book with a six song audio CD (about 22 minutes long). In the book, Celia recounts 60 encounters and leaves the reader with an epilogue. For the CD we re-recorded “Things I Want You to Know” from “Walk Chalantly” (#2 on the new CD). In addition, there are also four new songs written by Celia and Ron that grow out of specific stories in the book. They are: “A Little Bit of Love” (#1) about a special girl named Jenna; “Love Will Lead The Way” (#3), “Home’s Not Home Without You” (#4), and “The Best is Yet to Come” (#5). The CD ends with “Live Christ” (#6) a simple new praise chorus by Celia.
For those of you who read liner notes, the audio team (in order of appearance) is: Celia Whitler, Ron Whitler, Thad Beaty, Charles Yingling, Jason Collum, Mark Childers, Chance Scoggins, Michelle Swift, Ilya Toshinsky, Brent Maher, Ken Love and many childcare helpers along the way.
Events and the book: In conjunction with this new book, Celia is planning on adding to her offerings some concerts that grow specifically out of the book. She will tell stories from the book and sing songs that grow out of the stories.
We recently talked with a youth worker who wants to host a regional gathering for graduating seniors. The event would begin with a plenary session where Celia would tell some stories from the book and sing some songs. Then the group will break out into small group/huddles led by Celia in the same space. Celia could lead some dialogue and/or have Q and A and close with worship. The event may include the book as a take-away for participants. That kind of event would work for seniors graduating from high school or from college. For high school seniors it could be for students only or include parents. Other possibilities might be for commencement exercises, baccalaureates or faith related college orientations. It all sounds new and fun to us.
If you have a regional gathering or conference for pastors, or a college event for orientation fall kick-off, or anything else for that matter, where you might be interested in this concert format, follow the contact link and check in with us and we will follow up.