Musical Notes ♫♬ (Archive)

Zachary Dean is our Minister of Music and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Musical Notes - 1/15/2017

When asked what the Civil Rights Movement would have been without its songs, New Orleans vocalist Michaela Harrison closed her eyes and shook her head, demonstrating her difficulty even fathoming such a thing. “Ooooh,” she said, “I can’t imagine what the movement would have been without the music. I can’t say that answer because I don’t know. But I don’t think it would have been effective without the music. Because the music is really what mobilized people, united people. It’s what sustained the people. Kept people inspired.”

While “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is technically not a song of the Civil Rights Movement, it is a part of the fusion between religious and political aspirations that had a long and honored place in African American music. Sometimes referred to as “The African American Nation Anthem,” it was written in 1899 as a poem by James Weldon Johnsons (1871-1938), distinguished author, poet, educator, politician, and early civil rights activist, who was for many years a leader in the NAACP and a promoter of the Harlem Renaissance. The poem was set to music in 1900 by his brother John Rosamond Johnson (1873-1954). The first stanza is a call to sing. The second stanza recalls the difficult journey from a gloomy past. The third stanza is a prayer. Let us sing this song proudly as we commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday this weekend. (Excerpts taken from The Times Picayne and What So Proudly We Hail and their online counterparts.)

Musical Notes - 1/22/2017

You may have noticed new additions to the order of worship today: the addition of a "Hymn of Light" and the time for people to share their self-written devotionals. Because the theme of GA's Capital Campaign is "Shining God's Light...Together As One," I thought it was important to reflect that light in the music we sing. The sum of all the parts of worship is called "liturgy," which, when translated from the Greek, literally means "work of the people." In taking a holistic approach to the work that is worship, I see the various parts of our liturgy — from the hymns, to the prayers, to the readings, sermon, and Eucharist — as being intimately interconnected. Because we added time for various people to share their devotionals regarding the Capital Campaign, it flows from there that we add music that speaks to the theme of the campaign as well. In the coming weeks, as we lead up to the pledge date for the capital campaign, I invite each of you to reflect on the theme of light as we sing about it in our hymns.

— ZD

More Articles ...

  1. The "Notes from the Bench" blog is now "Musical Notes"
  2. Kathleen Thomerson and St. Patrick's Day
  3. Guide Me
  4. The Great Litany
  5. Martin Luther and John Mason Neale
  6. Dale Wood
  7. Grace? Word? Meal? Opera aria? CHECK!
  8. God is Calling ... Be Forever Changed
  9. Late to the Party?
  10. "May All Children" and Katharina von Bora Luther
  11. Happy 2015 ... Advent
  12. Elizabeth of Hungary
  13. All Saints’ Day or Hallowmas
  14. Dvorak’s “Biblical Songs”
  15. Merry Christmas!
  16. Summer Crossover Hymns
  17. Benediction
  18. Celebrations
  19. "Choros"
  20. Pentecost and Memorial Day
  21. Liturgy as Pastoral Care
  22. "I am the True Vine"
  23. Contemporary Music?
  24. Earth Day
  25. Alleluia! Christ is risen.
  26. The Music of Taizé & Daily Hymns
  27. Lent 5 - Daily Hymns
  28. Lent 4 - Psalm 42 & Daily Hymns
  29. Lent 3 - Lenten Prayer & Daily Hymns
  30. Lent 2 - Lenten Prayer & Daily Hymns
  31. Lent I - Unplugged
  32. J.S. Bach at Transfiguration Sunday
  33. Time After Epiphany 6
  34. Time After Epiphany 5
  35. Time After Epiphany 4
  36. Time After Epiphany 3
  37. Time After Epiphany 1
  38. Happy New Year!
  39. Time After Epiphany 2
  40. Christmas is Coming
  41. Happy New Year's Resolution!
  42. Closing the Church Year
  43. All Saints Sunday
  44. Reformation Sunday
  45. The Power of Music
  46. This Week's Hymns
  47. Holy Traditions
  48. Communion
  49. "Summer Hymn Sing 3"
  50. "Summer Hymn Sing 2"
  51. "Summer Hymn Sing 1"
  52. "Summer!"
  53. "Make a Joyful Noise"
  54. "Pinecrest Sunday"
  55. "Sundays and Seasons"
  56. "The Lord's Prayer I"
  57. "The Lord's Prayer II"
  58. "Psalms"
  59. "Easter"
  60. "O Sacred Head"
  61. "Amazing Grace"
  62. This is my Story
  63. Just As I Am
  64. "Greetings from Texas!"
  65. “Listen, listen, God is calling"
  66. "Housekeeping in the Hymnal"
  67. "There are no parts; there are only participants"
  68. Hymnos
  69. Music "comes from the sphere of miraculous audible things"
  70. Why do we sing?


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Collecting Food for the Hungry and Homeless

As the weather begins to change, life for those who are hungry and homeless becomes even more difficult. Please bring non-perishable food items and place them in the baskets at the sanctuary entrance. The food we collect will be taken to the food pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lower Eastside.


Healing Services

We offer brief healing services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays each month. These are powerful times of anointing and prayer. They are held in the sanctuary after the 11 AM service.

Daily Bible Verse

  • Joel 2:18-29

    ​I am sending you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a mockery among the nations.

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