Music and Message - Pat and Donna Surface
Our ministry our business has been about relationships one handshake one hug at a time - grass roots. The human component in this high tech age is critical we are losing our connection with each other and with God. And, as wonderful as contemporary Christian worship music is, we perform more traditional music sprinkled with crossover hits from the 60s and 70s that we call Holy Oldies - like Put Your Hand In The Hand, Spirit In The Sky, and Knockin' On Heaven's Door - frosted with Pat's original Christian compositions inspired by Scripture (see the albums Spirit In Ths Sky/Holy Wind and On The Wings Of A Dove). You can listen to an example of a message from our Daily Devotional project, Day By Day. Donna also dramatically interprets the songs in Performance Sign Language. We call it 'See The Music'.
We are very blessed to be able to work together as a couple, and fill what we have seen to be a great need out there. As we share our testimony, offer up song in worship, praise, and reflection, perform interactive, entertaining concerts, and educate in health and fitness (see Donna’s work), we present a holistic perspective to our Christian faith. Our program integrates mind, body and spirit in a diverse and unique format that has been enthusiastically received both at national Christian organizations, and local churches (some letters below). Our desire is to use the gifts that God has blessed us with to minister to people of all ages—empowering them with hope and enlightenment, and igniting them to act positively and decisively.
Some of the church events we have participated in have been structured like this:
- We performed at all the services—Pat’s song & Donna’s Interpretive Sign Language
Sometimes a church will schedule a lunch to introduce healthy alternatives to typical (unhealthy) food choices
- Donna’s lecture (with an entertaining Power Point Presentation) follows the lunch, or accompanies the lunch to describe what they are eating (and what they are NOT!) – Donna is certified by The American College Of Sports Medicine.
- Pat & Donna’s evening concert (including Pat’s music and popular Gospel tunes, personal testimony, Bible verses, humorous “married couple” interaction, and Donna’s “Performance Art In Sign For The Hearing Impaired”)
- We also do community outreach – performing in schools (preschool through high school). Our programs are specific to age group and interactive, with sign language taught to the children, culminating in “sign-alongs.”
- Donna also teaches “glossing” of songs – translating lyrics to ASL.
Spiritual warfare, the erosion of family values, the decimation of our planet, the declining health of Americans—these are all issues that we address in a combined effort to make a difference in churches and communities throughout this country. We hope to have the opportunity to worship with you.
We tithe back 10% to every church we perform at.
For several years St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church has had the distinct pleasure of hosting Pat and Donna Surface in their ministry of music to all of God’s Children. What a blessing they have been to those who listened to Pat’s singing and watched Donna’s interpretation during their Saturday night concert and Sunday morning worship leadership. I know that everyone left inspired and filled with the ‘peace that passes all understanding’ through the special gift of hope and joy in the Lord that they both convey.
Along with many different types of music, Pat sings the old gospel hymns and spirituals, as well as Christian tunes he has composed, and Donna beautifully signs/interprets these. Their unique blend of talents truly opens hearts and minds so that people are able to experience the love of God in Christ through their music and their own obvious faith and grace-filled presence.
I would highly recommend Pat and Donna and their music ministry to you as you consider your needs for worship. I know you will find them to be spiritually uplifting as they gladly share their God-given talents with you. Please feel free to call if you have any questions—I would love to endorse them by phone as well as letter!
Thanks to you, Pat and Donna for a marvelous experience of grace and joy this weekend! When I have nursing home worship services I speak as little as possible, for I know the words aren't (or can't) often be heard and digested - so we mostly sing old hymns. For the music never fails...and people who can't hear much and aren't able to communicate, suddenly begin to tap their feet and I know that the 'word of God dwells in them richly.' That's the way I feel about your ministry here at St. Andrew's (and I realize in many, many other places) - for you allow us the opportunity to be in a peaceful place - your music and interpretation opens up the Word in ways that words cannot. So, thank you, thank you...
Pastor Vicki Taylor
St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, MN
Spiritwood Music brought great joy and ministry to our church and community with their music, humor, and dynamic presence! Pat and Donna inject so much personal joy into their performance and interaction with the congregation, along with such integrity, sincerity, and messages of faith and care for the earth. What a blessing they are through their music ministry! It is like welcoming old friends into your living room as they share their music and gifts of self. People leave feeling uplifted, filled, and blessed!
Pastor Jan Redman
Crossroads United Methodist Church
One mellow summer evening, we heard Pat and Donna Surface at an outdoor venue in a resort town in northern Minnesota. My wife, my children and I were soon basking in the comfortable, joyous atmosphere created by Pat's well-crafted songs, wonderful voice and finely-honed guitar playing, and Donna's brilliant interpretation of the music through interpretive sign. Their presence and talents were a gift to all who were present. Afterwards, we got to talking and realized that we had some common interests—music, faith, and the 'north country'. As pastor of a church, I am always on the lookout for folks who bring God's gifts into relationship with others. So I invited them to perform at our church.
Together, they ministered among us sharing their music and interpretive sign at our worship services and in a relaxing -- and inspiring -- concert in the afternoon. It was fabulous! We had a great weekend together, and I strongly believe that Pat and Donna will offer a valuable ministry to any church.
Pastor Daniel Belgum-Blad
On Thursday evening, July 18th, 2002, the National Marriage Encounter Conference was kicked off at 7:30 pmin the HumphreyTheaterat St. John’s University by our keynote presenters, Pat and Donna Surface. To a packed house of diverse denominations and ethnic expressions, this wonderful Christian couple deftly wove this year’s theme of “harmony” into a very entertaining, moving, and inspiring evening of personal testimony, music, and humor. “Harmony” implies that we are in balance, freeing us to live and love in peace, and Pat and Donna demonstrated this beautifully—not only in lovely harmonic sound, but in their relationship and intimate sharing as well. Strong marriages and families give renewing energy to neighborhoods, schools, and communities of faith. Pat & Donna Surface were an excellent choice to represent the commitment to understanding the forces that undermine marriages and families, and how you can develop strategies and defenses against these forces. Their story is a dramatic one, and they integrated it artfully with their music, humorous interactions, Bible verses, and interpretive sign language (so we could also “see the music”).
“Love Triangle.” This is the name of Pat & Donna’s presentation, as well as a beautiful song written by Pat as a gift to Donna. The triangle in this sense depicts God at the top, and husband and wife at the other points. As the couple grows closer to God, they grow closer to each other as well. Pat’s other songs are equally as beautiful and thought-provoking, and Donna’s “performance art in sign” is an expressive and poignant accompaniment to Pat’s music. Donna combines American Sign Language, dance, and mime to dramatically interpret a song’s lyric, emotion, and message. It is wonderful to watch…graceful and compelling. In all, our evening with Pat & Donna launched this year’s conference with enthusiasm, joy, and rejuvenation.
On Friday, July 19th, Donna presented a health/fitness/nutrition workshop to a “standing room only” crowd. Donna is the author of an impressive and important book, Burn Fat For Fuel, and her “Mind-Body-Spirit” workshop blends the information she has spent years researching and compiling with wit and surprises in a motivating and empowering event. We were offered “no nonsense” advice and practical guidance in something everyone is confused and conflicted about—nutrition. We were amazed as lies were exposed and hidden truths were revealed. And we learned how the only ultimately successful approach to the complex issue of health and well-being integrates mind…body…and spirit. Donna is educated and credentialed, but she has lived this, and that makes her presentation riveting.
The 2002 National Marriage Encounter Conference was a huge success. We want to express our gratitude to Pat & Donna Surface for their participation in helping us make it a fruitful time for all.
Gene & Mike VanderHeyden
Chair Couple/2002 National Marriage Encounter Conference Committee