It has always been curious to me how the same situation can be perceived so differently by various people. For those of us living in the north, these cooler autumn days bring either a welcome relief from the summer heat or they signal the coming of a potentially harsh winter. It’s all in your perspective. A plethora of musical options and flexible rubrics in the liturgy are a joy (but never enough) for many. To others, they are a burden – too many choices and decisions to be made.
For more than 21 years, I have attempted to anticipate and understand the various perspectives present in this church while serving as program director for worship and music. I began this call in June of 1995. Coming from a congregation, I encountered a steep learning curve to discover how best to serve in a different expression of the church. There were three things that I learned very quickly:
In just a few weeks I will be moving on to new ventures and concluding this call. I am pleased that John Weit, a good friend and valued colleague, will be taking up this challenging work. I urge you to support John and the entire worship staff, indeed all my colleagues at the churchwide office. Know that they work tirelessly on your behalf. Always try to envision the perspectives of the whole church on whose behalf they serve. Make the intentional choice to view their work from a positive perspective, always putting the best construction on everything before launching into criticism.
I am moving to Canada, so I won’t be far. I am quite certain that I’ll stay connected with this church and this work in some, yet to be determined, way. I do value your prayers at this time of transition. Thank you for allowing me to serve you all these years.
|There is still time to register for the Lansdale, Pa. event
Reserve your place today!Walk-in registration is also welcome; however, lunch will not be available for on-site registrants.
Visit the Strong Center-Open Door site to register.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or assistance.
|Bread for the Day: Daily Bible Reading and Prayers
“Bread for the Day” is a small book filled with rich treasures. Use “Bread for the Day’ for personal, household or group devotions. This is the perfect resource for individuals, congregations, households, Bible study groups, prayer groups, pastors, congregation councils, outreach teams, confirmation students and teachers. It is also available as an e-book. The 2017 edition includes morning and evening blessings from the “Reformation 500 Sourcebook” as contemporary interpretations of Luther’s prayers. Also included are newly written prayers within the ‘Prayers for Various Situations’ section, including “A prayer to begin the work day” and “A prayer to begin the school day,” as well as additional seasonal table prayers for Lent and summer.
|Free Indeed: Devotions for Lent 2017
This beautiful, full-color devotional takes you through Lent with daily readings from Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Each reading is accompanied by a photo, a quote to ponder, reflection, and prayer. “Free Indeed” invites you to reflect on Martin Luther’s guide to the basics of Christian faith during the Lenten season and within the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
|Peace at the Last: Visitation with the Dying
“Peace at the Last” is a richly illustrated liturgy for use by individuals and groups who are visiting those who are dying. The text is drawn from the psalms, Evangelical Lutheran Worship and other sources. Simple, musical refrains easily sung without accompaniment are also provided. These words, images and songs, gathered in a beautiful and portable form, will help Christians accompany those who are dying, assuring them that “whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8). “Peace at the Last” emerged out of congregational need and experience at Lake Chelan Lutheran Church in Chelan, Wash.
To learn more about these resources and others, visit augsburgfortress.org or call 800-328-4648.
|National Conference for Sacred Music
First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, N.C.
Jan. 4–6, 2017Featuring Robert Hobby, Allen Hightower, Craig Mueller, Tom Shelton, Stephen Mitchell and Mark Lawson, the National Conference for Sacred Music is a unique conference designed to provide the practicing church musician fresh ideas to help create a vital, growing music ministry. The emphasis of this conference is providing a variety of new approaches to revitalize and reinvigorate the church’s passion for music in worship. For information about the conference, registration, hotels, schedule and workshop descriptions, visit augsburgmusic.org/ncsm.
|Music That Makes Community
Music That Makes Community is a not-for-profit organization that connects a worldwide network of practitioners and leaders who share a practice of paperless song leading. MMC partners with host locations to produce conferences and workshops to teach the practice and create resources for making connections and building a repertoire of songs for paperless song leading. Singing in this relational way has the potential to break down divisions between different styles of music and strengthen all singing.
Learn more about this exciting organization at musicthatmakescommunity.org.
Among the upcoming offerings is a half-day event on Nov. 12 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Baldwinsville, N.Y. (Syracuse) led by Scott Weidler. Check out the calendar on the website to learn more about upcoming events.
|Leadership Program for Musicians offers online courses
The Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM), a cooperative program between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church, is a teaching ministry that gives church musicians an increased awareness, along with the tools and resources to enable congregations to sing well and participate actively in worship.
LPM is now offering some of their courses online so students can participate from wherever they live with a more flexible schedule. These courses are perfect for musicians of all levels who are new to a liturgical church or simply want to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their role as a leader of song in the church.
The upcoming courses include:
To read more about these courses and for registration information, visit lpm-online.org.