Make a Joyful Noise

By Marchel Alverson
Make a Joyful Noise

“When you feel good you sing, either audibly or silently. … Nearly anyone can sing a little song. It is a marvelous health restorer. Singing restores harmony to tense nerves. Its vibrations stir them into action, thus making it possible for the ever-waiting healing Spirit to get in.”

—Charles Fillmore


The old adage “music soothes the savage breast” is a testament to the notes, lyrics, melodies, and rhythms that can transform lives. Music promotes healing. It lifts moods. It comforts. It is spirit in song. It moves.

The power of one song altered Rev. Paulette Pipe’s career, and ultimately, her life. In 2009 Pipe first heard the melody that would become her mantra—"If I Were Brave," by Jana Stanfield. For months, she meditated on the question in the lyrics, “What would I do today if I were brave?” Pipe decided that she truly was brave and decided to pursue her lifelong dream. She quit her steady job as retreat manager at Unity Village, Missouri—with no contingency plan or nest egg—to establish her own prayer and meditation ministry, Touching the Stillness Ministries.

The song was her gateway.

Today her lively Touching the Stillness program on Unity Online Radio touches thousands with her distinctive gift of affirmative healing prayer and sacred meditation experiences. Music is an important aspect of her ministry. “St. Augustine said when you sing, you pray twice. It’s prayer that isn’t about asking out of need, or wanting to change anything,” Pipe said. “Lyrics are a message that uplifts the spirit. It’s pure devotion. … Sometimes the only way I can express that love is through song.”

Dale Worley, associate minister and musical director at Unity of Savannah, can attest to the impact music has had on his ministry. A musician, Dale is cohost of Music Speaks Louder Than Words on UOR. The program inspires listeners through songs and personal stories of transformation.

“The name of our program is taken from the title of the song written by Harold Payne and recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary. The chorus of the song says, ‘Music is the only thing that the whole word listens to,’” Rev. Worley said. “In New Thought, we use repetitive chants to 'embed' positive affirmations into the minds and hearts of our listeners.” 

As with Pipe, the combination of affirmative prayer and melodies played a great part in Worley’s personal growth by taking him to unexpected places. Worley started out as music coordinator for Unity Village. And both continue to find their calm through song.

“Music raises the energy and vibration in the room,” Pipe remarked. “When you sing something over and over again, you begin to feel the presence of God.”

So true, according to Worley. At his center, board meetings always begin by listening to an uplifting song that moves their hearts and spirits and sets the tone for their time together. Said Worley, “Myrtle Fillmore suggested using music to begin times of prayer, as music can open the heart in ways that mere words cannot. Music brings people together in unity and in love and transcends all outer differences such as race, gender, status, and nationality, so that we truly know our oneness.”

Music is the great equalizer.