83 items tagged "music"

  • God is Calling ... Be Forever Changed

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    “Listen God is calling through the Word inviting, offering forgiveness, comfort and joy.”

    These are the words of our Hymn of the Day this week (ELW #513). Where are you hearing God in your lives? Is it a whisper? A shout? Vocation is a big deal in the Lutheran Church and this topic takes up a lot of my brain space.

  • Late to the Party?

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    I’m looking out the window at the first real snow of the season and thinking about the Magi on this last day of Christmas/Epiphany/3 Kings Day.  I always felt a little sorry for the guys.

  • "May All Children" and Katharina von Bora Luther

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your kind words and the beautiful flowers and Oreos (!) last Sunday. It is an honor and a joy to serve as your Minister of Music. I am grateful and blessed to work with amazing friends and colleagues. Nothing makes me happier than hiking up all of those stairs to the organ and singing hymns with you. Thank you Jesus!

    This week our Sunday School children and our choir will be singing something extra special.

  • A festive service of lessons and carols featuring Grace Drums - 12/13 @4:00

    A festive service of lessons and carols featuring Grace Drums!!

  • Elizabeth of Hungary

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    This is a very short NFTB this week because I will be out of town attending a training a children’s music training at the Music Together headquarters.  While you are singing our beautiful hymns and liturgy, led by the fabulous Zach Dean I’ll most likely be sitting in a room shaking tambourines and singing about “The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round”. 

  • Happy 2015 ... Advent

    Dear Friends in Christ,

                    Happy New Year!  Advent marks the beginning of the church year calendar and, personally speaking, I find it much more refreshing to think of beginning anew with the hopeful anticipation and joy that comes with the season of Advent and Christmas rather than a new year beginning in January with a boring list of resolutions that will most likely be broken and a cold winter ahead of me.  Let’s shout it from the rooftops…Happy New Year! 

  • All Saints’ Day or Hallowmas

    This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, shine.

    I was all prepared to sit down tonight and write about the history of All Saints’ Day or Hallowmas and the prayerful, spiritual bond that we share between those in heaven and those on earth.  My favorite part of the prayers we pray each week is when we “lift up the saints who have gone before us and the saints who dwell among us, those wonderful individuals who have lived lives of grace and faith, that they may be models for our own lives”. Yet, I sit here after a fun-filled day celebrating the 5th birthday of my daughter while, simultaneously, a dear friend is lying sedated in an ICU in Brooklyn after checking himself into the ER a mere 2 weeks ago because of a ‘flu’ he couldn’t shake only to discover that his body is absolutely ravaged with cancer and he has just a few days to live. 

  • Dvorak’s “Biblical Songs”

    Dear Friends in Christ,

                    This fall we’ve had the treat of hearing Lisa Daehlin perform selections from Dvořák’s “Biblical Songs” as the special music during our services. 

    Antonín Leopold Dvořák (September 8, 1841 – May 1, 1904) was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia (then parts of the Austrian Empire and now constituting the Czech Republic). Dvořák's own style has been described as 'the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them'.  Dvořák was baptized as a Roman Catholic in the church of St. Andrew in the village Nelahozeves, near Prague.  His early years in the village nurtured the strong Christian faith and love for his Bohemian heritage that so strongly influenced his music.

  • Summer Crossover Hymns

    This week is extra steamy and many are celebrating summer solstice in front of their air conditioners.  I came across an interesting fact this week related to solstice that, while not music related, is worth sharing.  On June 24th, the birth of John the Baptist is celebrated exactly six months before Christmas Eve.  For Christians in the Northern Hemisphere, these two dates are deeply symbolic.  John said that he must decrease as Jesus increased.  According to tradition, John was born as the days are longest and then steadily decrease, while Jesus was born as the days are shortest and then steadily increase.  In many countries this day is celebrated with customs associated with the summer solstice. 

  • Benediction

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    This week I want to talk about the end of the service.  Those who attend our weekly services may have noticed that the choir has been singing our benediction.  Starting this week the entire congregation will be invited to join in the singing of the benediction.  A benediction is a short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually at the end of the worship service.  Although the Latin translation is bene:  well + dicere: to speak, in many houses of worship it is sung. 

  • Celebrations

    Dear Friends in Christ,

             It's another exciting week here at GA.  We are switching to a new liturgy for the summer, Setting 10 in the ELW, this week we will welcome new members again into our family at GA, and we will help Tim and Mary Johansen celebrate their upcoming wedding.  God is good.

  • "Choros"

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    "With choirs of angels and all the hosts of heaven......." 
    "O Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation.........."
    "....while the morning stars sang together and the angels shout"

  • Pentecost and Memorial Day

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    This week we celebrate the Spirit, "through whom and in whom the people of God are created and re-created".  I love the image of the Spirit working in and through us and when I have faith conversations with friends it seems like the two things they can get behind and feel good about are the Spirit and the Lutheran message of Grace.  In many respects this blows my mind because these are two ideas that really require a tremendous amount of faith but, at least in my encounters, this is what seems to stick with folks.  For the literalists, Pentecost "the Fiftieth (day)" is a prominent feast in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the remaining eleven Apostles of Christ (Judas had hanged himself), included in the 12 Disciples in the Upper Room, after the Resurrection of Jesus.  The feast is also called Whit Sunday, Whitsun, or Whit, especially in the United Kingdom, where the following Monday was traditionally a holiday. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday, hence its name.  Pentecost falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday and is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church."

  • Liturgy as Pastoral Care

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    My life flows on in endless song; Above earth's lamentation, I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn That hails a new creation; Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul--How can I keep from singing?

    This hymn, with music by Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry and text by Pauline T, is one of my favorite hymns.  I love how the author finds hope in a crummy world through music.  Sometimes all you can do when the chips are down is to sing a tune.  Martin Luther understood this concept and this is why I think the Lutheran church is known as the singing church.  This week, in honor of our Seminarian Tim Johansen's graduation from seminary, I'd like to share an excerpt with you from his final paper from his class on Luther's Catechism and the use of liturgy in pastoral care. 

  • "I am the True Vine"

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    The Gospel reading this week, John 15:1-8, is one of my favorites because it was my confirmation verse.  When I was young confirmation student we had to give final speeches/sermons based on an assigned portion of Luther's Small Catechism (mine was The Lord's Supper) and then design a banner to be hung in the sanctuary based on a bible verse of our choosing.  (Perhaps this is where my love of crafting and pontificating began).  This week all of the music was chosen based on the themes of our gospel reading.

  • Contemporary Music?

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    Greetings from the "Motherland".  Last week I mentioned how much I loved the hymn 'For the Beauty of the Earth'.  Well my friends, I'm living it.  Goodbye Big Apple and hello Big Sky country!   A common question that I receive is "What do you think of contemporary music?". Personally, I'm for all sorts and types of music as long as there is integrity to the tune and text.  I realize that this is a bit objective and certainly based on what you know.  But, how do you know if you like something unless you try new things?  Sure, I spent many of my formative music years studying the heck out of 'classical music' and I only grew up listening to 'classical music'.  Joan Baez and Paul Simon were as wild as we got in our house.  However, for many years as a professional singer most of my professional success came from singing and premiering new works.  I loved working with living composers and discovering new ways of combining notes to make melodies.  Sure, I sang my fair share of interesting pieces but the process was fun.  As far as contemporary church music in undergrad when I was working in campus ministry we always had contemporary worship services and Sunday nights at the local church I'd help lead jazz services.  I'm all for trying new things to keep life spicy while maintaining tradition and why not try new things in church?  What's the worst that will happen?!  

  • Earth Day

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    As someone who grew up in the sticks of Montana, I have come to appreciate the intricacies, adventures and opportunities that big city living has to offer.  However, if I don't get outside everyday to get some fresh air my wheels start to spin.  Perhaps this is why one of my Top Ten Hymns is "For the Beauty of the Earth (DIX ELW #879).  In honor of Earth Day this week you'll hear two settings of this piece.  Folliott S. Pierpoint, a classics school master and Tractarian (high-church Anglican) in England, wrote this famous poem at the age of 29 when he was mesmerized by the beauty of the countryside that surrounded him.  It first appeared in 1864 in a book of poems entitled "The Sacrifice of Praise". The choir will sing a version of the familiar poem set to a new tune by Kenton Core. 

  • Alleluia! Christ is risen.

    Dear Friends in Christ, 

    Alleluia!  Christ is risen. 
    Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

    It was an amazing Holy Week here at GA.  A special thank you to our musicians, Kiku Collins (trumpet), Nicholas Handahl (flute) and Lisa Daehlin (soprano) and to our wonderful GA Choir.

  • The Music of Taizé & Daily Hymns

    Dear Friends in Christ, 

    I'm shaking up our hymn meditation this week to include pieces from "Taizé".  One of the most powerful experiences for folks who attend the church retreat has been the Taizé services.  In short, these are quite, contemplative services where the focus is prayer and reflection.  The hymns are very short and repeated over and over to allow you to experience a deeper meditation through song.

  • Lent 5 - Daily Hymns

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    When you have a toddler you tend to watch their favorite movie in triplicate.  A current favorite in our house is "Enchanted".  Personally, I just love the scenes when Giselle bursts into song and dance numbers.  I've often thought that I have singingTourette’s syndromebecause I catch myself humming hymns, musical theater tunes or opera arias as I walk down the street.  Some of the hymns recommended for meditation this week are on my Top 10 List of humming and I hope that they inspire you too. 


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Daily Bible Verse

  • Jeremiah 29:24-32

    28For he has actually sent to us in Babylon, saying, "It will be a long time; build houses and live in them, and plant gardens and eat what they produce." 29The priest Zephaniah read this letter in the hearing of the prophet Jeremiah.

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