friends, old and new and eternal (that would be Bach)


Eileen, Craig Cramer, and I had a nice meal together last night before Craig met with the Organ Committee at Grace. Craig also came over to our house and chatted for a while while we waited for it to be time to go to the meeting. It’s bitter sweet to have this guy around. He is intellectually very sharp and I enjoy his company immensely. It reminds me of times in my life when I have had many friends around me who were not cowed by my passion and actually interacted with me about ideas. I’m lucky to have had that time. And I did mention to Craig how pleasant it is to have Jen Adams (my boss) and Rhonda Edgington in my life now. I guess I’m still pretty lucky.

The committee meeting ran very smoothly. Craig was his usual relaxed bright charming self. I believe it was a very helpful meeting. Afterwards one of the members said to Jen, I guess we’re looking at tracker. By this she probably was realizing that all of the people the committee had consulted so far (myself, Huw Lewis at Hope and Craig) recommended tracker. So it’s onward and upward. The committee meets again next Tuesday and I’m hoping we can finalize the decision on the type of organ and begin  contacting builders.

I spent some time yesterday choosing organ music for upcoming Sundays. I am going to play a lovely Bach chorale prelude on Schmücke dich. Deck thyself my soul with gladness is a usual English translation of this lovely melody. This piece is a masterwork. It’s not terribly short. I have decided not to repeat the first section (much as that pains me). I’m still skeptical that my audience will connect, but it is wonderful music and we are singing the hymn at communion Sunday.

“There are certain works of art—by Dante, Bach, the makers of Chartres Cathedral: the list is endless—whose power seems inseparable from their epiphanic, transcendent references.”

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age

The following Sunday, the psalm for the day is 130. It is a deep and profound psalm that begins “Out of the depths.” We will be singing a lovely  hymn that draws on the German melody, Aus Tiefer Not. This hymn is “In Deepest Night” by Susan Cherwien with the tune by Emily Porter.  I recently led this hymn at an AGO recital and then performed my own chorale prelude on it. The anthem for the day on this Sunday is the four part chorale of this melody by Bach. I have chosen a simple but elegant organ setting by Jan Bender for the postlude. It is extremely short. Maybe that will make up for my long windedness this weekend.

1. Welcome to International Justice Mission | International Justice Mission

Organization of Gary Haugen which is dedicated to what it’s title implies.

2. Egypt’s Miscarriage of Justice –

Man o man. They just sentenced an enormous number of people to death. Stupid ins so many ways not mention immoral.

3. The Republic of Fear –

Fear is definitely a problem in our world. Brooks pointed to the Haugen organization and book above. Thank you, Mr. Brooks.

4. Joni Ernst in Iowa Senate Race: Think Castration, Vote Conservative – TIME

Presented as comic relief in this article, I was not only amused but thought the following description disturbingly accurate.

“There is so little left in national politics to delight us. The candidates, for the most part, are scripted, strident and narrow people who betray their actual humanity at their own peril. The races are costly, vicious affairs. And Americans almost never approve of an elections outcome once the winners settle into office.”

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