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.

May 2023 Newsletter (Year A)


In my introductory preaching class in seminary, our professor instructed us that one of the first steps in sermon preparation should always be to pay special attention to the verbs in a biblical text. This was only part of the preparation process, but it was a crucial one. Before we turned to biblical exegesis, before we determined a sermon focus, and certainly before we began writing a sermon draft, we had to begin with the verbs. This is one of those pieces of instruction that has endured in my own sermon preparation: I handwrite the Bible passage in my notebook, and with the help of a trusty yellow highlighter, I highlight all the verbs. It is often revealing. In some passages, verbs are sparse or passive; in others, they are numerous and active. The passage that congregations across the world will hear at the end of this month, the Pentecost reading from Acts 2, is one of those readings where the verbs are abundant and exciting.

On Pentecost, we hear the story of the Holy Spirit arriving to a community of believers in Jerusalem in the season following Jesus's ascension. We read of a rush of wind, tongues of fire, speech in diverse languages, confusion, and amazement. The Spirit arrives onto the scene of the early Church with great drama! It is an amazing scene, and we are left to marvel at the gift of the Spirit's presence both then and now. 

On our Pentecost program, we will hear music from across cultures and generations, appropriate for a celebration of the Spirit's movement among us. We hear a 10th century plainchant, an African American spiritual, a Cuban traditional hymn, a contemporary American piece of choral music, and much more. Together, these pieces paint a rich portrait of the Holy Spirit in our midst. Whether you are experiencing the Spirit's movement in the form of a gentle whisper or, like on Pentecost, in the rush of a violent wind, I pray that you will be encouraged in your own journey of faith as you hear and reflect alongside this community of Sing For Joy listeners.

As you move through this month, I hope you will also consider giving financially to support the mission of Sing For Joy. Our spring donation drive runs through May 31, and your financial support helps us to continue cultivating creative and meaningful programming throughout the liturgical year.

Peace to you,

Rev. Alexandra M. Jacob

Program Host, Sing For Joy

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.

May Playlists and Programs

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

Join us for an upcoming Sing For Joy Hymn Festival:

For more information, visit

For more photos of past hymn festivals, find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Lanterns in Boe Chapel

Memorials and Honorariums

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


Albert and Norma Eickmann

Georgia Frierdich

Arthur and Erna Raap

(Bo) L.B. Rabby

Pastor Keith Tomlison


Mark E. Hall on his birthday

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. Due to editorial lead times, Honorariums and Memorials will appear in the Sing For Joy newsletter two months following our receipt of the gift. 

Sing For Joy is sponsored by:

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