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Finding freedom and peace

As the bus carrying members of the NLC climbed the hills north of Phoenix, a newspaper clipping made its way from aisle to aisle, and from singer to singer. We were reading about Kayla Mueller, the humanitarian aid worker who was killed after being kidnapped in Syria. 

Kayla grew up in Prescott, AZ, where we were headed to sing, where her family and community were raw and wounded from their loss.

"Historical Trauma"

This devotion was given by NLC soprano, Sara Langworthy, prior to rehearsal on February 10, 2015. The choir has been preparing music for its Arizona Tour and upcoming concerts in Minnesota, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

Many of you know that my day job involves working for the University of Minnesota to translate what science tells us about kids and families into usable information for people who work in fields of practice and policy. Recently, I’ve been working on a project creating three short videos on a concept researchers call “historical trauma.”

Our Journey Begins

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the journey of Lent for Christians everywhere. This six-week journey of contemplation, prayer and repentance brings us to the foot of the cross on Good Friday, and the joyous celebration of Easter two days later.

But for the next six weeks, we grapple with difficult themes that force us to face realities that challenge the comfort we’ve been become accustomed to living with throughout the year.

And let me tell you, it’s no coincidence that the National Lutheran Choir begins its tour journey today.

Devotion: The Heartbeat of the Message

This devotion was shared by NLC soprano Christina Myers before rehearsal on January 20th.

The Heartbeat of the Message

Devotion: Why Was I Given This Day?

This devotion was shared by NLC bass Tim Sheie prior to rehearsal on January 13th.

If you have not already encountered the Irish writer John O’Donohue, I recommend him to you.  From one of his meditations on blessing, let’s set aside tonight’s preparations for a moment, quiet ourselves down and reflect on the day:

Devotions: A Time for Thanks

This devotion was shared by NLC alto Eldri Wittkamper on November 25th, 2014.

It’s that time!  I’ve got my last minute list of preparations for the feast:  Make pumpkin pie & pecan pie and whip up a batch of “powdered pimpernels!”*   Then pack and head to Duluth for Thanksgiving.

Devotion: The Hopes and Fears of All the Years

This devotion was shared by NLC bass Paul Wilson prior to one of the Christmas Festival concerts in Saint Louis on December 20, 2014. 

"The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."

Throughout human existence fear and hope intersect - usually in that order.  One of these intersecting points occurred on Christmas Day in 1914, when the powerless front line soldiers in WWI did something the Great Generals of the time could not: make peace.

And in our own history and the history of our country, we find many of these intersecting points.  Fear; hope.