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An exhilarating Sunday night at Holy Trinity Lutheran, where we held our Hymn Festival, exploring Martin Luther’s Seven Marks of the Church, through Lutheran hymns—so many hymns, and A Mighty Fortress nowhere in sight. Jackie once again put together a fantastic program of music with the Chancel, Handbell, and Youth Choirs, oboist Priscilla Smith, violinist James Finegan, and cellist Elena Smith.

I commented on each of the hymns, one or two for each Mark, and managed to work in the Phrygian mode, Calvinists, Barry White, a hymn I wrote (The Word of God, in hymn + anthem concertato style), and cake.

The Marks, and the hymns:

1. The Word
Dearest Jesus, at Your Word (Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier)
The Law of God is Good and Wise (Erhalt uns Herr, bei deinem Wort)

2. Baptism
God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It (Bachofen)
All Christians Who Have Been Baptized (Nun freut euch)

3. Communion
Jesus Comes Today with Healing (Alles ist an Gottes Segen)

4. Absolution
From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee (Aus tiefer Not)

5. Ministering
The Word of God (Confession)

6. Discipleship
Your Kingdom Come, O Father (Noormarkku)

7. The Cross
Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me? (Warum sollt ich mich denn Grämen)
If You But Trust in God to Guide You (Wer nur den lieben Gott)

They had a reception afterward (cf. cake, above), celebrating (honoring? poking fun at?) my retirement from the Fleisher Collection. Lots of folks—stunning how many stayed for a good long time, I was overwhelmed by it. Two very busy self-employed friends, a programmer and an architect, gave me the same advice. They told me to say, “I’m not retired. I’m working for myself full-time!” After adding up all the things I am doing, it sounds good; I think I’ll use it.

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