Lots of people have been asking, “Are you getting excited about your renewal?” The short answer to that question is “yes!”
The journey that led to this coming season of renewal began over a year ago. With the encouragement of the Elders I began to work on applying for a renewal grant from the Lilly Foundation. Ken Firchow’s assistance and guidance was invaluable as the lengthy application was completed. The congregation at a Voters Meeting overwhelmingly supported the renewal plan. And then last fall the good news came – Life in Christ had been awarded a grant for 2011. Praise the Lord!
Music has always had the power to bring refreshment and joy in my life. During the renewal period, Sherri and I will be visiting a number of different churches in the Valley to see how worship is done and how music is utilized. I will also be doing some volunteer work for Benevilla, an organization that provides a Day Program for developmentally disabled adults. I hope these folks like my singing and guitar playing!
Sherri and I will be blessed to travel to Austria, Germany and England to attend several music festivals. A highlight will be the time we spend in Leipzig, Germany to attend the Bach Music Festival. Every good Lutheran should have a good dose of Bach at least once in their lives! We hope to attend a variety of concerts and other events and to visit some of the great churches in Europe during our travels. I was also invited to attend the summer pastor’s conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in England. While we’re in Cambridge, Chris Salvaggio has suggested a few pubs we might want to visit. Chris – they’re on our list!
I will also spend time doing a self-guided study of music in worship. I’ll be reading materials from our Lutheran church fathers regarding worship and taking a look at some books that analyze what’s happening with worship in the church today. As Life in Christ continues to grow, it seems that a third worship service is inevitable. My study will provide some food for thought as we consider what a third service might look like.
On paper, it seems that I’ll be away for a long time. But you know how time has a tendency to fly, right? You, our brothers and sisters in Christ, will not be far from our thoughts and prayers. Please pray for us too.