This Month's Newsletter

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Pastor Bruce Benson, along with a listing of music selections for each program and the corresponding scripture readings. If you'd like to receive a complimentary subscription, fill out our online request form to subscribe.

May 2022 Newsletter (Year C)

Pastor Bruce Benson

Thank You

Using my final host letter before retirement to say "thank you" is not a requirement of the job, though there is a certain degree of expectation. After all, it's common courtesy, is it not, to express some gratitude on the way out the door? That expectation can make words of thanks feel a bit insincere. The speaker or writer might be merely polite, not genuinely thankful. Nevertheless, I'm going to risk it. I am going to say "thank you."

Psalm 85 says that a sign of God's steadfast love can be seen when righteousness and peace kiss. Well, saying "thank you" might be described as what happens when gratitude and honesty embrace. That is the way this moment feels to me. I have to say thank you because not doing so would be plain dishonest. Consider:

  • I already had a full-time job when taking on the hosting duties of Sing For Joy. Without the arrival of my late campus ministry colleague, Jennifer Koenig, to pick up some of my campus ministry work, I would not have been able to take on those SFJ duties.
  • I also needed approval from the St. Olaf College President's office; support from the staff of the college's former radio station, WCAL; and most of all, the encouragement and steadfast collaboration of colleagues, like ...
  • Jeff O'Donnell, now the uber-competent executive producer of SFJ, but a brand-new recording engineer in his first job after graduation when he and I were rookies together nearly 20 years ago.
  • Carolyn Pierson, astute and gracious editor of my host letters; Joshua Wyatt, IT wizard; Becca Beam, un-flappable recordist extraordinaire.
  • John Ferguson, whose steady hand, vast knowledge of Church music, and appealing creativity made planning programs interesting, rewarding, and fun over the many years we worked together.
  • Two generations of the Sukup family in Iowa, Eugene and Mary, and Charles and Mary, who between them have been sponsoring Sing For Joy since long before I became the host. That old expression, "Couldn't have done it without you," is absolutely true in this case. And their support was more than financial.
  • And you, SFJ listeners and supporters. Without you Sing For Joy would have withered like an un-watered plant. You have given it life; I hope it has given life back to you. Like so much in human community, it thrives on mutuality.

So, to all: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

When two people meet in a doorway, one entering, the other exiting, often one will hold the door open for the other. As I exit, I plan to hold the door wide open for my successor, Pastor Alexandra Jacob, whom you will meet in her own words in the July issue of this newsletter. She and I will also share a program on-air before I officially retire.

Finally, during my last half hour behind the Sing For Joy microphone I know I will feel sadness. As real as that sadness may be, it will not be as deep as my gratitude. God's peace be with you all.

Peace be with you,

Bruce Benson

Pastor Bruce Benson

Support Sing For Joy

Sing For Joy is supported by listeners like you. All gifts go directly towards our operating budget that makes Sing For Joy possible. To become a sustaining supporter, check the "recurring gift" option on our online giving form.

CWTA Conference News

St. Olaf is hosting the Conference on Worship, Theology and the Arts this summer from July 25-28. Participants can join us on campus in Northfield, MN or choose our new virtual conference track. The 2022 conference invites you to explore how the power of imagination can challenge, change, and inspire, especially as churches respond to the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and structural racism. Registration is now open! 

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Lanterns in Boe Chapel

Memorials and Honorariums

Thank you for your gifts in memory and honor of those close to your heart.

IN MEMORY OF:

Rebecca Bingham Carnes
Lyndon D. Crist
Albert and Norma Eickmann
Charles and Sybil Eurey
Donald Hinkle
Arthur and Velma Johnshoy
Phillys Linn
Larry Lofgren
Rev. W. Sanford Ostman
Arthur and Erna Raap
LaVonne Schneider
Frank Summerside '50
Howard Thorsheim

IN HONOR OF:

Rev. Henry Aukee
Pastor Joel Becker
Rev. Bruce Benson
Lucas David
Julia Francis
Sarah & Gui Garcia
Tom Lohr
Martha Mayo

To include an honorarium or memorial when you give to Sing For Joy, simply include the name(s) and occasion(s) in the comment box, as well as who should receive an acknowledgement letter and their street or email address.