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Notes from the Music Director – July 2016

Music Sunday 2016 was one of our best yet!  Come, You that are Blessed by God was an inspiring hymn festival and a great way to celebrate another year of hard work.  Thank you to all the HCLC musicians who give so much of their time to the music ministry here.  Your service to HCLC and God is much appreciated!  I have always been proud of the music at HCLC, but the amount of compliments (about choir and bells) from supply pastors over the past four months has been very encouraging.  I was also encouraged by our CAT survey results.  Out of the 4,000+ churches surveyed, we are in the top 2% when it comes to music programs.  That is in large part due to the dedication of our musicians!  We certainly have fun together and do our best to enhance worship and serve our Lord.  I look forward to using the summer months as a planning time for the 2016-2017 season (my 12th season here at HCLC!).

There are two schools of thought when it comes to picking hymns:

  • Pick hymns that have texts corresponding to the readings of the day.
  • Pick hymns that are “old favorites” and stir up memories and emotions in the congregation.

While I usually lean towards picking hymns based on the lectionary, I think it is also important to work in “old favorites” that inspire the congregation.

Over the summer months I would like to work in more hymns that are “old favorites.”  Please take a moment to let me know what hymns bring up fond memories for you.  I know many of the congregation’s favorites, but there are always some I miss and there is always one or two hymns that hasn’t been sung in awhile.

Our “old favorite” hymns often have a beautiful poetic text that we tend to overlook in favor of focusing on the hymn tune.  There are fantastic poets such as Paul Gerhardt, Susan Palo Cherwein and Carl Schalk who beautifully put our faith into words that are worthy to praise our Lord.  I encourage you to take an extra moment on Sunday mornings to read through the text of that morning’s hymns and appreciate its beauty.  Even if we are not singing your favorite hymn, open the hymnal during the prelude or offering music and meditate on your favorite hymn text.

I hope everyone’s summer includes a time for rest and a time for adventure!  And, don’t forget to send me a note with some hymns you’d like to make sure we sing this summer.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Jeremy Shoop, Director of Music Ministries

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