83 items tagged "music"

  • Reformation Sunday - 10/25


    On this day we celebrate the heart of our faith:  the gospel of Christ—the good news—that makes us free! We pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to unite the church today in its proclamation and witness to the world.


  • Musical Notes - 7/15/2018 - A note from Zach Dean

    Witnesses to the Gospel,

    It has been an absolute joy to serve as your Minister of Music. As my time serving comes to a close, my thoughts are lingering on the past three years.

    Yes, it only has been three years since I began my time with you. It feels like much longer — and not in a bad way! It feels as if each of you has been a significant part of my life, and indeed you have been! It is the short time period that makes it a wonder, mainly because this community has taught me so much. Chief among those is something I want to name here: appreciation, and not just appreciation, but what I am going to call “Holy Appreciation.”

    Holy Appreciation is much more than just saying “thanks.” It is different than saying “thanks” if someone says “God Bless You” after a sneeze; it is different than thanking someone after they hold a door open for you; it is different than the appreciation offered countless ways that happen each and every day as “thanks” flies out of our mouths so we can be polite. Holy Appreciation is something different: it is a pastor that never fails to lift up those who need recognizing for their work in and for the community. Holy Appreciation is a Church Council that produces signed thank you cards; a note left by musicians after they created music for the community. Holy Appreciation, despite how common it is in this place, is still wholly Holy.

    One of the joys of the 9:00 AM service is that, because of the small space in the chapel, I get to interact with everyone on their way out. In those interactions, some people look me in the eye in a moment of Holy Appreciation and thank me for the music that day. My response has always been “thanks for singing along!”

    Regardless of whether you have belted every hymn that was chosen for the last three years, or if you have barely whispered the words for fear that the person next to you might hear you sing, you have sung. You have sung because singing in worship is an act of the assembly, and so by nature of you being in the presence of song, you have sung.

    And so, for the last time as your Minister of Music: thanks for singing along.

    The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. Amen. (Words to the choir benediction in today’s service, Peter C. Lutkin)

    Until we meet again,
    Zachary Dean

  • GA is seeking a Minister of Music

    “Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.” (Psalm 89:1)

    Music is a vital part of our ministry and our worship experience at Gustavus Adolphus. Music, especially singing, has always been the link and a common connection as the people of God. All God’s people have sung throughout recorded history. The Israelites sang after their deliverance from Egypt. David sang in time of trouble and rejoicing. Mary and Simeon sang songs of thanksgiving. John, on the island of Patmos, heard the glorious songs of the angels in his vision. And still today, we continue to sing to God and we are excited to welcome our next Minister of Music who will help lead us.

    Interested?  Learn more and apply here.

  • ♫♬ Concert @ GA - featuring Napat Mingkwanyuen and Savanah - 3/12

    There will be a night of festive song and music @GA on March 12, 7 p.m. in the sanctuary led by Napat Mingkwanyuen and Savanah.  All  are welcome.  Bring a friend!

  • ♫♬ Concert in Celebration of Pride - 6/19

     GA is hosting a concert on June 19, 7:30 p.m. that will inspire joy, love and peace by one of the most talented group of singers and musicians in town! 

  • 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

  • Thanks to our Guest Musician - 1/15

    We are delighted to welcome Napat Mingkwanyuen on Sunday who will sing several pieces during worship. Napat, born and raised in Thailand, performs throughout NYC, which in a few months will include Carnegie Hall. Thank you for sharing your gift with us Napat!! 


  • 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 - 1/15

    When asked what the Civil Rights Movement would have been without its songs, New Orleans vocalist Michaela Harrison

  • 11th Annual First Songs of the Seasons Concert - 12/3

    Start the holidays off with Gramercy Park's favorite event of the season… an evening of song, caroling and storytelling.

  • 10th Annual First Songs of the Seasons Concert - 12/5

    Start the holidays off with Gramercy Park's favorite event of the season… an evening of song, caroling and storytelling.

  • Our Kyrie Rings with the Sound of Bells

    During this season of Advent, you may have noticed that things sound a little bit different during our worship service. Along with the change of season, the liturgy in church has changed as well. Our kyrie rings with sound of bells...

  • The "Notes from the Bench" blog is now "Musical Notes"

    The "Notes from the Bench" blog is now "Musical Notes"... thank you, Zach for these updates!

  • Kathleen Thomerson and St. Patrick's Day

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    "But you, beloved, are not in darkness . . . for you are all children of light and children of the day." (1 Thes. 5:4-5 NRSV)

                     I have a growing list of hymns that I hum or think about during my morning prayer time and "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light" (HOUSTON ELW #815) is fast becoming a favorite at the top of my list! 

  • Guide Me

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    Before we delve into our usual tidbits regarding hymns and saints, I wanted to share a poem by GA member.  At our retreat this past weekend we were invited to lead prayers for mealtime and as a part of her lunch prayer the member offered this poem.  It was so moving that I immediately asked her if she would be willing to share it with us and she graciously agreed.  She shared with the group that these lyrics were written several years ago while waiting late one night at a bus stop.  She was in the midst of a difficult struggle, but knew that God would see her through.

  • The Great Litany

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    Pull back.  Reflect.  Seek silence.  Meditate.  Sing hymns.  These are all beautiful words lifted from Pastor Chris’ Ash Wednesday sermon.  Last year we were challenged to live our faith out loud during Lent and this year we are invited to bathe in Holy silence.   Our choir will sing The Great Litany as our anthem this week and it will help us to pull back, reflect on God’s love, and ponder the awesomeness of a fully-human Jesus who experienced our sorrows and joys.

  • Martin Luther and John Mason Neale

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    All week I’ve been singing All God’s creatures got a place in the choir, some sing low, some high, some sing out loud on the telephone wire, some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they’ve got now. Every single one of us has a place in the Kingdom and every single one of us has a place in the church here on earth. Hymn translators played a really important role in those early church years and John Mason Neale was one of the big contributors. Fourteen of his translations are included in our current ELW. 

  • Dale Wood

    Dear Friends in Christ,

                    The composer Dale Wood (composer of our choir anthem this week) has a soft spot in my heart. 

  • Grace? Word? Meal? Opera aria? CHECK!

    Dear Friends in Christ,

          Grace?  Word?  Meal?  Opera aria?  CHECK!  Our first communion hymn “For by Grace You Have Been Saved “ (ARMOLAULU ELW #598) was composed Kari Tikka (b. 1946) in 1976. It has been translated into at least 8 languages, Tikka included the song in his Luther Opera (2000).

  • A Festive Service Featuring Grace Drums - 1/25 @11:00

    Join us on January 25, 11:00 a.m. for a remarkable worship experience featuring “Grace Drums.” music .  This magnificent group of 7 women will provide music that is deeply rooted in African Tradition.  With a variety of large drums they will play, sing, and dance throughout the worship service. It is spectacular!!


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Daily Bible Verse

  • Proverbs 6:6-23

    6Go to the ant, you lazybones; consider its ways, and be wise. 7Without having any chief or officer or ruler, 8it prepares its food in summer, and gathers its sustenance in harvest. 9How long will you lie there, O lazybones? When will you rise from your sleep?

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