Artist in Residence
Worship Assistant & Artist in Residence
Nate is from Ypsilanti and has lived there his whole life. He earned his undegraduate degree in music education from Eastern Michigan University. He regularly practices writing music and poetry, and now gets to do that here, at ULC! His favorite instrument is the drums.
☕ Need a conversation starter? Ask Nate about the best parks around Ann Arbor!
Note: Nate has begun building a webpage that allows the poems to be formatted in the way they are intended to be read. If you cannot access the poems thorugh the .pdf attachements below, check out his webpage here.
"Dear Christian, (A Letter to a Bad Listener)" by Nate Zuellig
Click here to read “Dear Christian, (A Letter to a Bad Listener)” in its original format.
About the Poem: The idea for “Dear Christian” came to me while I was praying one day. My mind was just kind of on autopilot, thinking through the tasks of the day and other random facts and scenes. Then I felt like God got sassy and told me, “Hey, would you let me say something?” because I had taken the time to sit and talk to Him but I was the one doing any “talking.” It seemed funny and semi-profound, so I wrote this poem to help me not forget the lesson I felt God was teaching me and to share it with you lovely people. Enjoy 🙂
"Our Song" by Nate Zuellig
About the Poem: The opening stanzas for “Our Song” came from an older poem that had always been a favorite of mine. My main interest behind those stanzas was the word play. Minuet – minute, hour – our, second chance – the seconds chant. This puny kind of word play (mostly on musical terms) inspired most of my favorite lines from the poem: For example, “The tonic of our souls” uses both meanings of the word, “tonic,” as in a medicinal tonic taken to bring well being; and “tonic,” meaning the root chord that a musical piece generally resolves to at the end. The poem builds until the thunder, “claps” and the rain, “showers” down praises along with us to God, the Great Creator.
"Silence" by Nate Zuellig
About the Poem: “Silence” is a special poem for me. When I first wrote it, it was the first time that I had put my thoughts (which were normally scribbled out as fast as possible in block format) in a more concise poetic format, which is the style I have decided to use ever since. Along with Larry Frank’s mentorship, it has been very helpful in organizing my more broad and difficult-to-pin-down ideas. And the topic of this poem is just that! I like big ideas. And this one, the origin of the cosmos from nothing, is definitely one of the biggest and broadest of them all. I’ve written about it many times and I’m happy to share some of my favorite and more fascinating thoughts on it with ya’ll. With these types of poems (and most of the one’s coming down to line are of this variety) my hope is to encourage curiosity about the more spiritual aspects of our faith and not offer absolute answers, even though at times I may present things with some decisive force. The truth is that I simply like thinking about this kind of stuff and I imagine that some other people probably like thinking about it, too. And those are the kind of people that I’d like to meet and talk to, even if we disagree on some particulars.
"The Catch" by Nate Zuellig
Click here to read “The Catch”
About the Poem: A short piece of word painting that centers around some puny wordplay.
"Winter's Rest (A Sabbath Song)" by Nate Zuellig
Click here to read “Winter’s Rest (A Sabbath Song)”
About the Poem: Just a little, traditional-type winter poem that see’s rest both in nature (winter) and in God (the Sabbath). I really enjoyed reflecting again on the curious fact that, according to the Bible, even God has to rest sometimes, and he’s omnipotent! So, to me that’s a helpful reminder that limits are normal, and that naps should be more guilt-free and more often.
"Come Union" by Nate Zuellig
Click here to read “Come Union”
About the Poem: This poem evolved over a long time and with a good bit of difficulty, but I’m very happy to finally share it with everyone, along with the audio version read by Larry Frank (who was also a major player during the lengthy revision process). In the poem, I admire two main themes, unity and sacrifice, and explore how they shape and drive life in every way, culminating with the vision from Revelation of the final feast of the Lamb when we share with God and Christ in our “high communion”.
Listen: Come Union (Parts 1 & 2)
Listen: Come Union (Parts 3, 4, & 5)
ULC Worship Songs
In Christ There is No East or West
The Hands of God (Good Friday hymn)
Run Now to Jesus
More by Nate Zuellig
Check out more original songs by University Lutheran Chapel’s Artist in Residence Nate Zuellig on his YouTube channel “Original Jesus Tunes by Nate Zuellig.“