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From the Director

The Conversion of St. Paul 2017

(January 25th)

The Anniversary Year

How great it is to be living during the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!

Many of us remember 1983 and all the publications and activities which marked the 500th anniversary of Luther's birth.  This celebration promises to be much bigger.  For one thing, both the man and the event continue to make the "Top Ten" lists of influential people and moments in the last millennium. 

There is nothing parochial about this anniversary.  It is being embraced not only by Lutherans worldwide, but also the entire global "...holy, Christian, and apostolic Church"---Reformed, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Methodist, Mennonite, and even Pentecostal churches. (Pope Francis has announced his plans for observing the Reformation on October 31st, 2017 and even in today's Vespers reminded Finnish Lutherans that Martin Luther "...desired to reform the Church not divide her.")

The Reformation Era is so rich in its treasures, so nuanced in its teachings, so multi-dimensional in its impact, that it will be impossible to fully celebrate in this calendar year.  Perhaps the anniversary will mark the start of a renewed interest in our shared heritage and where it might be taking us.

There are plenty of new publications (printed and online) and resources from many different publishers and sources---from bobble-head dolls to editions of Confessional documents. Even the Center will be releasing from Carl Schalk and Paul Westermeyer a "Small Catechism" and "Large Catechism" on music in Lutheran worship.

You may want to consider as a new year resolution to make as much as possible from this moment in history.  Take it all in as deeply as you can. It is a part of the work of church musicians to re-discover, to celebrate, and to tell the next generation who we are. It is all a part of church music being the "living voice of the Gospel."

Thankfully there are many places from which to draw ideas and inspiration---books, articles, conferences, web sites, blogs etc. We hope that you'll take time on a regular basis to check out what's new at the Center for Church Music and be strengthened and equipped for your "high and holy calling."


Barry L. Bobb