Newsletter Archives

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob, 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 2022 Newsletter (Year C)


One of the most joyful parts of my ministry as a pastor is journeying with families through the process of preparing for baptism. When a young child is being baptized, I meet with the family prior to the baptism service to talk through the significance of baptism. We talk about the meaning of baptism as a sacrament, a sign of God's grace for us. We discuss the significance of water, which reminds us of the many ways God has been present through water: the watery chaos of creation; the waters of the Red Sea that led the people to liberation; the waters of Mary's womb, which bore Jesus; the waters of Jesus's own baptism. But perhaps the most important thing we discuss during our time preparing for baptism is this: when we baptize, we are affirming the truth that God's grace is always with us. God goes with us and is present throughout all the seasons of our lives. To this gift, we can simply respond with gratitude!

This insistence on the all-sufficiency of God's grace is a hallmark of the theological commitments that guided the movement we now refer to as the Reformation. For many Sing For Joy listeners, this month includes the observance of Reformation Sunday, a day that invites us to ponder more deeply the work of reformers like Martin Luther and his contemporaries. While not all of us celebrate this liturgical holiday, I hope that the music we share on our program that week will offer an expansive entry point into the work of the Reformers.

On Sing For Joy, we will hear the quintessential Reformation hymn, "A Mighty Fortress," a hymn so familiar to many listeners that you may find yourselves singing along! We will also hear a less familiar piece of music, the F. Melius Christiansen composition "How Fair the Church of Christ Shall Stand." This is a piece I sang during my time in the St. Olaf Choir, and I recall being particularly convicted by the second verse of text: "'Tis all in vain that we profess the doctrines of the Church, unless we live according to our creed, and show our faith by word and deed."

Indeed, at its best, the call of Reformation Sunday is that we learn to live our faith by both word and deed. We profess the all-sufficiency of God's grace, which we witness in the flowing waters of baptism in fonts across the world. But our communities are called to carry out the work of discipleship — the work of love, justice, and compassion — in response to the gifts of God's grace. This push-and-pull of grace and gratitude is a mark of faithful discipleship. As we move through these autumn weeks, may we respond to God's grace with gratitude!

Peace be with you,

Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob

Program Host, Sing For Joy

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October Playlists and Programs

Interested in reading hymn lyrics as you listen? We recommend, where you can search by hymn name, composer, and more.

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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.


Rebecca Bingham Carnes

Albert and Norma Eickmann

Julia Francis

Lucas David Garcia

Pearle Ludwig

Arthur and Erna Raap

Mrs. Janet Velasquez Vidal

Master Ryker Viltman


Pastor Bruce Benson (two gifts)

Charles and Mary Sukup

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.

Sing For Joy is sponsored by:

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