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.

February 2023 Newsletter (Year A)


I would venture a guess that for preachers, one of the most polarizing liturgical observances occurs on the Sunday before Lent, which falls in the middle of February this year. Transfiguration Sunday. Most preachers I know either love or loathe preaching on Transfiguration Sunday, and for good reason! The story we hear on that Sunday is wild and perplexing. This year we hear Matthew's account (Matt. 17:1-9): we find Jesus on a mountaintop, clothes sparkling white, flanked by Elijah and Moses. A voice speaks from the heavens, claiming Jesus as God's own child. The disciples are afraid, of course, and the story ends with Jesus instructing them to tell no one what they've just seen. I imagine that this final instruction could have gone without saying. Would anyone have believed the disciples if they described the scene, anyway? Likely not!

I am firmly in the camp of pastors who love Transfiguration Sunday. I have vivid memories of hearing the story as a teenager and reveling in the strangeness of the scene, delighting in the utter holiness of a gospel narrative that leaps off the page, begging for interpretation and reenactment. I can relate to earnest Peter, so eager to stay in the presence of such holiness that he suggests a mountaintop campout. "Lord," he says, "it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will set up three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Oh, Peter. Can't we all relate to that impulse to stay in the mountaintop moments, certain of God's presence among us, sure of the Spirit's movement in our midst?

Of course, the disciples could not stay on the mountaintop. Jesus waved them away — no mountaintop campout, at least this time. They had to move away from that holy moment, back into the messy reality of their lives down below. 

This month, the Christian Church across the world enters into the season of Lent. During that penitential season, we journey with the disciples down from the mountaintop, feet firmly planted in the messy reality of our own lives here in the valley. Although we may wish to stay on the peak, it is in the valley that our Lenten transformation occurs. I hope you will join us this month on Sing For Joy as we hear music that leads us into the new season together. Blessings on your Lenten journey.

Peace to you,

Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob

Program Host, Sing For Joy

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February Playlists and Programs

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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.


Stan and Arly Boyum
Barb Byrum
Dennis Clapp
Albert and Norma Eickmann
Charles and Sybil Eurey
Monte Gillespie
Janice Bartels Groen
Oren Watkins Holloway
Dorothea AB Klip
Marcus S. Lehman
Richard Pearson
Arthur and Erna Raap
Mary-Henry Schroeder
Ms. Sheila Snipes
Jean O'Neil White


John and Jane Barnhill
Ellen Draeger Cattadoris '07
Russell Draeger '11
Rev. Richard Edmonds
Heather Gibbons
Nanci Graser
Katie Jeddeloh '18
my favorite mother-in-law
Dr. Andrew D. Scrimgeour
Paul Scrimgeour, beloved brother
Mrs. Mary E. Sukup
Ms. Delores Oakes

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)