Feb 112009

Kyle Heimann, left, and Dan Harms make up Popple, which will perform at the diocesan junior high youth rally next month.

By Celine Klosterman

God wants you to be happy, says Kyle Heimann, 29. And it’s partly in being happy that Catholics will draw others in.

So he and Dan Harms, 24, who make up “acoustic humor band” Popple, hope to draw a few smiles with their blend of comedic compositions and Catholicism at the Davenport Diocese’s junior high youth rally March 29. With the theme “Gold Medal Catholic,” the rally will include faith-related workshops, Mass with Bishop Martin Amos, Diocesan Youth Ministry Committee skits, music from the band Leap of Faith, food and fellowship at Regina High School in Iowa City.

Former youth minister Heimann also promises a few highlights from his and Harms’ repertoire. That lineup includes guitar- and kazoo-accompanied “goofy” tunes on topics such as ninjas and peanut-butter sandwiches — songs Popple uses to warm up a crowd — as well as music on Mary and the Mass.

“We’re faithful Catholics who like to have a good time and enjoy our faith,” says Heimann. He and fellow Purdue University graduate Harms have tried to do as much while touring full-time for about two years, after playing together at youth events and coffee shops for four years.

“We didn’t have plans to go full-time all over the world; God got it going. It just snowballed,” Heimann says of the Indiana-based group, which has played in Honduras and Japan and released four CDs. “We’re very blessed to be here.”

He hopes students recognize God has plans to use their gifts, too. “Something important to me is that everyone realizes they have a calling from God. (Vocations) aren’t just for priests and nuns and people who are 35. Wherever you are in life, God’s calling you to use your gifts well.”

And if people seek what God’s calling them to, they’ll find true joy, Heimann says.

So it’s fitting that he’s leaving the Lord in charge of what students take from Popple’s presentation at the upcoming rally. “We could talk about one specific thing, and they could get something else out of it. Everyone walks away with a different message. God will use us” as he sees fit.

For more information on the rally and to watch Popple videos, visit To sign up and get registration details, including cost, youths should contact their parish youth ministry leader. Parishes can register by 4 p.m. March 13 at a reduced fee, or no later than March 20. For more information, contact Pat Finan at (641) 842-5148 or Barb Butterworth at (563) 324-1911.

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