Newsletter Archives

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.

October 2018 Newsletter (Year B)
Fall Rain, by Pastor Bruce Benson

The fall rain has begun: not just in my immediate zip code, but also, as the radar map on my computer readily reports, in the broad region stretching for several hundred miles around. The autumn rain is never a surprise hereabouts, a dry fall being far more unusual, nor is it entirely unwelcome even though it is not hard to hear rainy day complaints. I expect that a rainy season fills most people with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it leaves school children dripping water and mud on floors, lockers, books and papers; on the other, it prepares soil and plants for the winter ahead; dogs shake their wet fur all over the furniture, but outdoors the trees are singing in the rain. As long as climate change doesn’t turn these rains into annual floods, I suspect that they will always bring mixed feelings.

A light, steady rain often reminds me of camping trips when on rainy days one of my children would interrupt my disappointment and self-pity by saying, “This is really great weather, isn’t it?” Then, when I would look around with the eyes of a child instead of the eyes of a parent trying to locate jackets, umbrellas and dry clothes, I would invariably agree: this is great weather. It’s true, the world is quite beautiful in the rain.

I’m sure there are many ways to describe how rain changes one’s perspective and perception of the world. A comparison with music comes to my mind. I’m thinking now not so much of the obvious loveliness of leaves when they are wet, of the way branches and flower stalks bend gracefully under a steady rain, or the way water truly does seem to laugh and play as it flows in rivulets and tiny streams down streets. I’m thinking rather of how music that is not all sunny and bright still has a way of bringing joy. Like a rainy day to children. It has something to do, I think, with the way both rain and more tender music have a feeling of intimacy about them. The world gets smaller in rain. The next street over is obscured, as the outline of trees and houses blurs with the falling rain; the vast blue endless sky disappears behind the clouds, and the world becomes more personally sized, more intimate. Rain is like those hymns and anthems that don’t seek to move you with grand majesty but with tender intimacy.

A day doesn’t have to be wall-to-wall sunshine in order to be a beautiful day, and joy doesn’t have to be all whooping laughter in order to fill your heart. In other words, one can sing for joy in the rain.

Peace be with you,




Pastor Bruce Benson

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October Playlists and Programs

Playlists are ready now, and each show will become available to stream on the Friday before the week begins.

October 7, 2018: Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 27 (Year B)

October 14, 2018: Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 28 (Year B)

October 21, 2018: Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 29 (Year B)

October 28, 2018: Time After Pentecost — Lectionary 30 (Year B)

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Lanterns and candle on altar of Boe Memorial Chapel at St. Olaf College
Memorials and Honorariums

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


J. Robb Bartlett, who introduced me to Sing For Joy when we were married 19 years ago this September

Larry Beck, brother

Pastor Dick Dahlin

Mary Helen Detmer

LeRoy Iverson

Jennifer Anderson Koenig

Eleanor B. Smith

Evelyn Soyars

Eugene G. Sukup

Mike Williams

Walter H. Wright Jr.



Kathy C.

Congregation at Bethany LCMS

David Fortner

my son, organist Mark Spitzack

Donations can celebrate a personal milestone such as an anniversary or birthday, or honor a loved one who perhaps also enjoyed music, all while furthering the Sing For Joy mission to bring sacred choral music to listeners around the world.

Sing For Joy is sponsored by:

Sukup Manufacturing Co., St. Olaf College, and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA)