A blessed new year ALCM friends,
Please know your professional membership association enters 2020 with enthusiasm and optimism for the future of music in the Lutheran church. Your invitations to your friends and colleagues to join with us as ALCM members have been highly successful as ALCM's membership grew by 9% in 2019 to nearly 1,800 members. In 2019 over 500 people participated in ALCM educational opportunities by attending the biennial conference, webinars, and local workshops. This strong participation is leading to increasingly vibrant music ministries in our Lutheran churches. Additionally, your financial contributions have been wonderfully generous, which is helping ALCM's efforts to be more and more visible to the Lutheran musicians who have not yet heard of ALCM. Thank you so much for your support and your ministry of music!
As we celebrate the new year, we also proclaim January 1 as the festival of The Name of Jesus. As we enter this new year we pray:
Eternal Father, you gave your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be a sign of our salvation. Plant in every heart the love of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
ALCM Executive Director
Raabe Hymn Text Competition Winners
Over 90 submissions were received for this year's Raabe Hymn Text Competition. It is with joy that ALCM awards the prize to the following two text writers:
The winner of the new text for the tunes BETHOLD and SEWARD: "Praise to God with Voices Sing" by Rev. David M. Blank.
The winner of the new text for the tune ST. CLEMENT: "The Night You Gave Us" by Dr. Wayne L. Wold.
Pastor Blank serves as senior pastor at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Wold is professor, college organist, and chair of the music department at Hood College in Frederick, MD. He is also director of music ministry at First Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, MD.
Information on using these new texts in worship will be made available in the coming weeks.
Thanks to all who submitted texts for consideration and congratulations to the winners!
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:
Events with confirmed locations; date to be determined:
Sioux Falls, SD
Check the ALCM website for additional sites and event details.
Interested in hosting a local workshop in 2020? Contact Sally Messner at
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.
2020 Southeast U.S. Tour - February 20-23
National Lutheran Choir
will be touring the Southeastern U.S. with concerts in Hickory, Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta. The 60-voice choir, led by Artistic Director,
will perform a wide-ranging program celebrating the depth and breadth of the Lutheran choral tradition, with works by Felix Mendelssohn, Ola Gjeilo and Ralph Vaughan Williams set alongside new arrangements of familiar tunes, including Kenneth Dake's "Sweet Hour of Prayer".
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
Lutheran Summer Music: Nationwide Event Series
These events are modeled after a typical night during Lutheran Summer Music. A Recital is performed by LSM alumni and current or former students and faculty, wherein each performer has an opportunity to share the impact of LSM on their lives.
The recital is then followed by a service of
in true LSM style.
The evening concludes with a reception and time of
- February 8 & 9: Seattle, WA
- February 16: Madison, WI
- March 1: Minneapolis, MN
- March 22: Waukesha, WI
- Spring 2020: Chicago, IL
- Spring 2020: Valparaiso, IN
- Fall 2020: Houston, TX
"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.