Friday, September 24 - 8-10pm in the Chapel
St. Billie: A Happier Than Ever Listening Party
What is it?
A high-school-only listening party for the 2021 Billie Eilish album, “Happier Than Ever”. Students and leaders will listen to the album together (56 min running time), following along with lyrics and journaling prompts. At the conclusion of the listening portion, the group will debrief the material and work together to interrogate:
- What are the central themes of the album and how did the artist convey her own feelings / ideas about those themes? (How do these themes connect with our own lives?)
- What messages about spirituality are present in the material? What does this material say about God, either explicitly or implicitly? (How do these messages align or conflict with our own beliefs about God?)
What is the purpose of this event?
- Create a safe space for students to process complex experiences and themes occurring in their lives and/or the lives of their peers.
- To help students approach and understand their lived experiences (first-hand experiences or cultural experiences) thoughtfully through the lens of “ordinary theology”; finding spiritual meaning in everyday experiences.
- Create an event that students can invite their friends to, regardless of experience with or prior exposure to Christianity.
Why Billie Eilish?
Billie Eilish is considered a prophetic voice among Gen Z. A teenager herself, Eilish’s art is resonating deeply among the current youth; her presence and influence in the culture is widespread. The Church has an opportunity to connect with and attempt to understand its youth a little better by thinking critically about the messages being proliferated via artists like Eilish. Through respectful discourse with our youth around this art, we also have an opportunity to help them think critically about where they and their faith align with or depart from Eilish’s messaging.
Who is this event for?
This event is designed for high school students who, along with their parents, determine they are comfortable discussing mature themes and content. Mature content that appears in this material references: abuse and trauma, complex relationships, dating, break ups, loneliness, fame and success, lying, disillusionment, sexting, hook ups, sin, sexism and misogyny, body image, mortality, power dynamics, stalking, drunk driving, pornography, and therapy. Though these themes are not glorified within the material, and are only referenced (not described in detail), conversation around them will be handled with care and moderated heavily by Malia and the other leaders. That said, students and parents are strongly advised to consider if this material and subsequent discussion about it would be beneficial / appropriate for them.