Friday, April 22, 2011

Agnus Dei guest blogger

Today's guest blogger is Pastor Kevin Born, who is the pastor at First Lutheran Church in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.  That church is my home church, where I was confirmed and where I began playing organ way back when I was still in high school.  Pastor Born is a brilliant preacher who helped shape my own faith and philosophy of church music.  I was so pleased that he was willing to participate in our Lenten discussion.  Without further introduction, I'll simply turn it over to him to share his thoughts on the theme of Agnus Dei:

"As I grow older, I am increasingly aware of the fact that the saints I know who have cashed in on their baptismal promise are growing in number.  Thus, when I sing or hear sung "Lamb of God," I am reminded that the Lamb in question is the same Lamb who will at the last host the high feast of which all our earthly feasts are at most a foretaste - the feast at which I will be reuinted with Him and all those aforementioned saints.  Call it anticipating the final Easter in the middle of this Lent."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival

One of the greatest joys of living in a city is the quantity and variety of good music (and the arts in general).  Coming up soon is an incredible event right in Bethany's backyard - the Baldwin-Wallace Bach Festival.  The highlight of this year's event is the performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor on Saturday, April 16th.  But there is a wide range of performances, including some free recitals and concerts.  You should definitely visit the website and see if you can find a concert that fits your schedule!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Credo guest blogger

When I conceived this project, the model and inspiration was the famous radio series (and book) "This I Believe."  In that series, Edward R. Murrow invited submissions from an incredible range of people.  Of course, I think he had an easier time getting responses from powerful and important people!  In the spirit of casting a wide net, though, I sent emails and letters to all kinds of people that I thought might never write back.  No harm in inviting participation, right?

Well, one of the people who was kind enough to respond with a brief message was Senator Sherrod Brown.  For those of you who don't know, Senator Brown shares our Lutheran faith, so it seems particularly appropriate that he was willing to participate.

Before getting to his comments, I'll take one moment to stress the obvious disclaimer that the blog and the church take no political stance by reprinting his comments on faith.  Furthermore, invitations were sent to politicians of multiple parties at the local and national level.  As of this writing, Senator Brown was the only respondent to address the question in a personal message.  Now, here is the message the Senator emailed to me:

"My Christian faith plays an important role in my life.  My commitment to social, economic, and family issues consistently guides me in my civic duties.  For me, the New Testament's emphasis on serving the poor is profoundly important.  Jesus walked among the poor, advocated for the poor, and stressed our responsibility to the poor.  As a public servant, I work to help those who are in need and it is the most personally rewarding part of my job."