Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
December 1, 2019 e-newsletter
Dear colleagues and friends,
We're at that time in the year when we in the church are out of sync with the world. In the church we have barely begun the season of Advent, while in the world Christmas is well underway. It seems that we are behind the times, as usual.
I want to suggest that we are actually ahead of the times. We are just celebrating the beginning of a new year, while the world has a month to go. And our readings in November have forced us to consider the end times, which the world pretty much never does.
We are thus behind and ahead of the times. We could also say that we are in between the times, living in the already but not yet.
At all times we are called to be thankful. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16ff) Whether ahead, behind, or in between, thankfulness is the Christian way of living. For what are you thankful today, in this moment?
My list is long, as I believe yours is. Among the things for which I am thankful is all the wonderful people I have come to know in ALCM, not to mention our conferences, publications, and other resources. If this is also true for you, please consider joining me, our staff, and the ALCM board of directors in giving a gift to ALCM this year. You can do that here.
Together, our gifts help to make ALCM strong, able to continue our mission to nurture and equip musicians to serve and lead the church's song. For this, we can all give thanks.

Michael Krentz
ALCM Secretary/Treasurer

Locations for 2020 Hearts*Hands*Voices events that have already been confirmed include those listed below. Those with set dates include links to the event records, and registration for these events is now open. Additional information regarding each event will be added as it becomes available. 

Events with confirmed locations and dates:

Allentown, PA - June 20
Edmonds, WA - Writing workshop  - February 8 - register now!
Fairfield, CT - Special event for children  - March 28 - register now!
Irvine, CA - October 3
Lansing, MI - September 12
Marquette, MI - October 17
St. Peter, MN - September 12
Wichita, KS - September 26
Winston-Salem, NC - October 3

Events with confirmed locations; date to be determined:
Beavercreek, OH
Claremont, CA
Dublin, OH
Farmington Hills, MI
Hickory, NC
Houston, TX
Ithaca, NY
Jacksonville, FL
Lancaster, PA
Madison, WI
Perrysburg, OH
Portage, MI
Santa Monica, CA
Sioux Falls, SD
Waukesha, WI
Winchester, VA
Worcester, MA

Check the ALCM website for additional sites and event details.

Interested in hosting a local workshop in 2020? Contact Sally Messner at

In 2018 the ALCM board of directors appointed a task force to develop a new set of resources to assist congregations in the process of searching for and hiring a church musician. The task force has been working diligently on this project and the initial resources have been posted on the ALCM website. These employment resources are conceived to be ever-growing and evolving and there is still much to be developed, but we invite you to review the initial resources. The task force members welcome your feedback and suggestions. You can email them at

Spring 2020 Publisher Reading Session
Enjoy the first of the ALCM 2020 Spring Publisher Reading Sessions:
Log into the members only area and watch for more coming in December.

"Receiving the Day "
A Retreat Preceding the
Institute of Liturgical Studies
Sunday, April 19 - Monday, April 20, 2020
Lindenwood Retreat Center, Donaldson, Indiana
Dorothy Bass and Lorraine Brugh, leaders
In the second week of Easter, this 24-hour retreat will be an opportunity to live into a time and space away from our church vocations. Through presentations, spiritual practices, and conversations, retreatants will explore various ways to rest, recuperate, and recover from the busyness of the Lent and Holy Week liturgies. Using the book Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time* by Dorothy Bass, the retreat will follow the book's patterns in looking into our use of time in everyday lives. Spiritual practices will include contemplative walking, journaling, labyrinth, spiritual conversation, worship, centering prayer, and hospitality.  

Plenary presenters include James Abbington, Antonio Alonso and Karol Kimmell. A plenary panel discussion will be led by Paul Westermeyer.

It begins with breath: the breath of an individual, the breath of a community. As with the Spirit that hovers in creation, infusing creation with life anew, the Spirit is at work in and through breath joined to heartbeat. Singing is natural to creatures, as hymn writer Robert Lowry asks rhetorically, "How Can I Keep from Singing?" In response to God's revelation in Christ by the Spirit's power, we cannot help but sing. 

Do we have your correct contact information?

The 2020 ALCM membership directory will be published in January. If either your home or church contact information have changed in the past year and you have not notified our office, please let us know as soon as possible. You can just email the information or complete an  edit contact information form . Not sure whether you already sent us changes? Send them again. We don't mind checking!
CrossAccent  Arriving in December

The Fall/Winter 2019 issue of CrossAccent is on its way to the designer and will be arriving in mailboxes at the end of December. Included in this issue are:

--The three plenary presentations from the Portland conference:
Common Meal: Singing Resistance Poetics at the Eucharistic Table--
Samuel Torvend
Common Song, Communal Song-- Robert Buckley Farlee
Common Word, Common Words-- Susan Briehl

--An article by Brian Wentzel "Curating the Core Hymns of Your Congregation"

--Reports on various 2019 conferences

--An overview of Paul Manz and Jaroslav Vajda centenary events

--Book and music reviews, and much more!

The National Conference for Sacred Music is a unique conference designed to provide the practicing church musician with fresh new ideas to help create a vital, growing music ministry. The emphasis of this conference is to provide a wide variety of new approaches to revitalize and reinvigorate the church's passion for music in worship. The event takes place each January, and is collaboratively sponsored by music publishers Augsburg Fortress, Hinshaw, and MorningStar, with additional support from ALCM, PAM, and The Fellowship.

Celebrating Paul Manz

ECS Publishing Group is proud to celebrate Paul Manz's life and work in as many ways as possible, particularly in this centennial anniversary of his birth.
The first two episodes of the new ECS Publishing Group Podcast cover the life, work, and music of Paul Manz. ECS President Mark Lawson discusses Manz's upbringing, teachers, influences, and key life-moments with Scott Hyslop, biographer. Also featured are several recordings of Manz playing his improvisations and compositions. Visit to listen.