The first time I was introduced to the Lutheran liturgy, was when I was hired as the organist at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Granada Hills, in September 1983. My husband Jim and I had just gotten married in August in Edmonton, Alberta, our home city, and the next day we hitched a trailer full of mostly music and books about music to move to the San Fernando Valley. Jim studied voice at CalArts, and I had been accepted into the doctoral program in organ performance at USC.
Being poor students, we immediately sought out church positions to supplement our non-existent income stream when we arrived. I was/am terrible at directions and faced with an over-whelming jumble of freeways, and I completely messed up my first audition at a church on Reseda Boulevard by being a full 90 minutes late for choir practice, arriving just in time to say goodbye to the choir as they left. Needless to say, they weren’t interested in somebody who couldn’t even find the church. I regrouped and said to Jim, “I need to find a church that I can WALK to.” And the Lord promptly guided me to St. Stephen’s, where I met a wonderful pastor who tutored me in the Lutheran liturgy and encouraged the growth of my love for the liturgy. That man was Pastor Natwick.
Forty years later, I’m still in love with liturgy. I find the seasons of the church give me a scaffolding for my faith and my Christian journey. I love how the 3-year Church Calendar lesson plan ensures that I am grounded in all parts of the Bible, and feeds my curiosity to explore the rest of Scripture that is not part of the 3-year lesson plan. Most of all, I love that we are privileged to sing our faith and Scripture every Sunday.
If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, you may want to consider following my blog as I explore the various facets of our Lutheran liturgy. And if you do know what I’m talking about, I hope you will also join me in my exploration so that we might grow in faith together and in further appreciation for our liturgy tradition.
If you haven’t heard, I will be facilitating a Zoom class on Wednesday evenings on Lutheran liturgy, starting next Wednesday, 1/25/2023 at 6:30 pm!
Tap or click here to join the meeting!
Meeting ID: 863 9864 6370 / Passcode: 651572