Dear Stalwart and Steady Servants,
In 1993, Bill Clinton was sworn in as the 42nd president, the Dallas Cowboys won the Superbowl, the Great February Blizzard hit the east coast, Ruth Bader Ginsberg became a Supreme Court justice, the World Trade Center was bombed, 60 Minutes was the top-rated TV show, Beanie Babies went on sale, and Audrey Hepburn and Dizzy Gillespie died. It was also the year when a group of United Church of Christ musicians in Connecticut started talking about forming an organization to serve the profession.
Since the official beginning of the UCCMA didn’t come for another year or so, we have decided to start celebrating our 30th anniversary with a full year of looking back at how things got organized. In addition, this summer journal is the beginning of three issues in 2023 that will celebrate where we have been, and then will look forward to challenging you to serve the greater mission of enlivening music and worship in our churches. It will be freely available to all UCC churches across this land as an anniversary gift.
To that end, we have gathered some perspectives from our first UCCMA president and a link to a journal article from 2005 describing the group’s origins. In addition, we have a letter from the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the UCC, and a look into our UCCMA Endowment Fund by the Rev. Eldonna Hazen, our Minister for Sustainability.
We are very excited to offer you our first ever anniversary commission of an anthem by Innocent Okechukwu, who was one of two selected to write pieces just for you and your choirs. I hope you will copy it and use it in your churches. The other anthem will be coming to you in the Fall 2023 issue. Please take advantage of them as a gift from the UCCMA and share them with other churches.
We are so fortunate to have our regular columns return – Sacred Dance, Tech Talk, Cliff’s Notes on Jazz, a new hymn, a book review, a new introit, and “A Few of Our Favorite…” classic anthems for smaller choirs. Many thanks to those who have written articles for us this spring and provided valuable resources and information for our use. To our readers, let me know what other topics you wish to hear about.
Please take advantage of all that we offer to our members – the journal, the newsletter, the Saturday Sharing webinars, the future conferences, the Facebook conversations, the Epiphanies from the Mill House blog, the reading sessions, and the connections we have with so many other amazing UCC music people. Tell those who are not members to check out our website so that they can view the journals that will be freely available this year. We want to serve you in many different and relevant ways to make your life as a church musician more rewarding.
LOOKING BACK – 30 YRS.
The first 22 years of Worship, Music & Ministry in print.