About The Music Ministry

Update on our Search for a Minister of Music   January 14, 2023

We would like to offer special thanks to several people who have stepped forward in the gap to assure that our music continues to uplift us in worship and give glory to God. In the interim, Leslie Cryer-Hetchler has volunteered to lead the Jubilate Chime Choir. Julia Misslin has graciously accepted the role of the Chancel Choir director/accompanist in the interim and is working closely with Kristin Belding through the pastors to coordinate the selection of music with the Sunday worship themes. Thanks also to the many musicians and singers who are stepping up to provide music and songs for our services. And of course, thanks to our Pastors and staff and volunteers that are obtaining recorded music, preparing and then projecting the slides and managing the sound board for our services.
In the meantime, the Search Committee continues to seek candidates for a permanent Director of Music through a variety of platforms. We have created the job description, established salary guidelines with the Finance Committee, and continue to conduct interviews as candidates emerge and are informing the Church Council of our progress.
We ask that you keep Christ Our Savior, the Search Committee and Pastors, and those currently serving, in your prayers asking that God would lead us to find an individual with talent fitting our ministry who has a heart for serving the Lord through the gift of music. To God be the glory, The Music Director Search Committee


Have you wondered how we came to have so many hymns in our Lutheran Hymnal? Why we have such a heritage of singing in our faith? How they were written; melodies and words? I will attempt to explain some of this.

Before Luther reformed the church, the music was chanted, usually in Latin, for the services and the priests understood the words, but the parishioners did not. Luther felt strongly that the Word of God should be proclaimed “among the people in the form of music.” Also, that theology and music were to be “tightly connected” and “proclaim truth.” He always emphasized that the Gospel be proclaimed through music.

As this became a large part of the services, hymns were written in poetic structure and set to music. Some of the melodies were familiar to the people then, but most through the years have been completely new.

As I choose the hymns for each Sunday’s worship, I prayerfully try to have them serve the theme for that day and the Pastor’s sermon. You might look at one or more of the hymns for the service as you prepare for worship and try to see meanings and ideas that pertain to this specific service: most especially asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to His voice through the words and music. I think we can all agree that words and music can reach our hearts as nothing else.

Our hymnal is a treasure of Gospel truth through praise of our Lord as well as thought provoking lessons and prayers, at times. We truly have a living musical heritage to enjoy! One of our many blessings! A quote from Martin Luther: ‘Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.’

In Christ’s Service,

Judith Bailey

Music Minister

MUSIC as a part of Lutheran Worship Part 1
By Walter Roessler

Martin Luther had an early interest in music, it kept him in food while at school and it followed
him throughout his life. He authored many hymns including “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and
“From heaven Above to Earth I Come”. A 39 Track CD is available thru CPH, which has Hymns,
Ballads and Chants composed by Martin Luther. In a letter written to the noted Catholic
composer, Ludwig Senfl, Luther discloses his thought about the power of music: “There are,
without doubt, in the human heart many seed-grains of virtue which are stirred up by music. All
those with whom this is not the case I regard as blockheads and senseless stones. For we
know that to the devils, music is something altogether hateful and unbearable. I am not
ashamed to confess publicly that next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music. For
it alone, after theology, can do what otherwise only theology can accomplish, namely, quiet and
cheer up the soul of man, which is clear evidence that the devil, the originator of depressing
worries and troubled thoughts, flees from the voice of music just as he flees from the words of
theology. For this very reason the prophets cultivated no art so much as music, in that they attached
their theology not to geometry, nor to arithmetic, nor to astronomy, but to music,
speaking the truth through psalms and hymns”. In his Preface to his last hymnal, published by
in 1545, Luther says: “God has made our hearts and spirit happy through his dear Son, whom
He has delivered up that we might be redeemed from sin, death, and the devil. He who believes
this cannot but be happy; he must cheerfully sing and talk about this, that others might hear it
and come to Christ”.

Note: in “Music in Early Lutheranism”, Carl Schalk, Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus
at Concordia University, River Forest, highlights that Lutheran music is usually recognized as
Johann Sebastian Bach. In this book he profiles (7) Lutheran composers who pre-date Bach;
and (2), (Walter Torgau and Conrad Rupsch), who worked directly with Luther in developing his
worship services. The other five composers are men who composed and helped develop
additional musical settings, for both congregation and chorale usage. Their contributions were
the foundation on which Bach was able to build.
It is ironic that Calvin, on the other hand, in his effort to restore primitive Christian worship and
rid the church of what he conceived to be Catholic aping of Old Testament practices, instituted a
whole new set of ceremonial laws for the New Testament church. In so doing, he rendered the
development of church music, except for psalm singing, sterile in the Reformed churches for the
next two hundred years. There is one more factor which influenced the non-Lutheran reformers
in their opposition to the use of music for worship. That factor was the fear of the power of music
over man’s emotions. Both Zwingli and Calvin were wary of any delight and enjoyment in music.
In a sermon on the Book of Job, Calvin wrote, Music of itself cannot be condemned; but
forasmuch as the world almost always abuses it, we ought to be so much the more circumspect.
The Spirit of God condemns the vanities that are committed in music because men delight too
much in them: and when they set their delight and pleasure in these base and earthly things,
they think not a whit upon God.

Lutheran Worship Music Part II
By Walter Roessler

This article is taken from two books by Carl Schalk,- teacher, composer, author and musicologist, and Professor Emeritus at Concordia Chicago.

“SINGING THE CHURCH’S SONG” 2015 - Essays and Writings on Church Music is a collection of writings and presentations through various times to various audiences: extolling that church musicians must be both theologically informed and musically skilled. The articles range from why Christians sing; through a history of Lutheran Liturgical music; highlighting 500 years of musical contributions by persons like Paul Gerhardt and Friedrich Layriz, and on to the challenges of contemporary Composers to provide musical support to the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ecclesia contains - ‘the singing church’ is particularly apt in Lutheran worship and according to Ulrich Leupold when introducing Hymns in Luther’s Works - “Luther’s hymns were not meant to create a mood, but to convey a message. They were a confession of faith, not of personal feelings.” The entire book is an interesting read with detailed references to many other publications on this subject.

In the second book “SINGING THE FAITH” 2020 - A Short Introduction to Christian Hymnody” - Dr Schalk walks us through the Old Testament (from the song of Miriam in Exodus to the song of Habakkuk and into New Testament Hymns, modeled on OT psalms. Greek hymns created by the Eastern Christian Church Christians into faithful to Latin Hymnody, sung by monks in the early abbeys, which became part of the Mass and included the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Luther embraced the Mass and expanded it with Choral music which enabled the congregation to sing the Liturgy. In the years immediately following the Reformation the songs were sung in church and home and visitors translated them to many languages, which helped spread the Gospel. He continues with a summary of contributions by Gerhardt, Calvin, and John and Charles Wesley, continuing on through 18th and 19th century England and Germany and on to 19th and 20th Century American hymns, including the early Campground songs which merged into Gospel singing. He lists later hymn writers and their contribution, always pointing to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless His name; tell of His salvation day to day.
Psalm 96 Vs 1&2

Note: Dr. Schalk visited Tellico Village and spoke in August 2017. I have a copy of his talk on an old old IPAD. He was taken to his eternal home in January 2021

The books listed above will be available in the COS Library.

For futher reading:
Carl Schalk A Life in Song (CPH 2013)
Thine the Amen: Essays on Lutheran Church Music in Honor of Carl Schalk (Lutheran University Press 2005) - This includes an exhaustive list of hundreds of compositions and writings of Carl Schalk

Note II: The Lutheran Service Book (our hymnal) is available in a Guitar Chord Edition, to allow for Guitar accompaniment when an Organ or Organist is unavailable

MUSIC - One of God’s Greatest Gifts

Music has been part of our earth almost, if not, since the beginning of time. The harp and the flute are mentioned in Genesis 4:21, only eight generations after Adam and Eve.

What other gift from God can cause you to smile, give you peace, cause your eyes to tear, your fingers to tap, your feet, arms, legs and your whole body move to the music. The faster the beat of the music the faster we move and conversely, the slower the beat, the slower we may move, possibly holding your husband or wife tightly allowing feelings of love to pass from one to the other.

Music may also have words attached to the melody. These words can tell the stories of our lives, reflect on all of our human emotions and also relate to stories and verses right out of the Bible. Music may also be songs and words of faith and lessons that we hear from our pastor's messages or songs directly from church hymnals. In these cases we need to be careful to not just sing the words to the melody but also, as we sing, think about what the words are saying to us.

A few examples of songs, out of the thousands, that have such great messages are: To God be the Glory, I Met the Master, My Statement of Faith, In Christ Alone, I'm a Child of The King, and the list goes on.

Martin Luther wrote: "Next to the word of God, the art of music is the greatest treasure in the world'". He also wrote: "Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Sa-tan is a bitter enemy, for it removes from the earth the weight of sorrow and the fascination of evil thoughts".
A musical rest is written in the musical score just like a note and calls for individual instru-ments or singers to stop and rest for a short beat or so during a song. Kim Collingsworth, during a concert, told how she was emotionally touched by reading a piece written by author John Rus-kin in 1850 about how a musical rest can emulate life. Paraphrasing Mr. Ruskin's words Kim said: There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music. In the melody of our lives the music is separated here and there by rest. Sometimes during these rest we foolishly think we have come to the end of our song. God sends a time of forced leisure by allowing sickness, disappointed plans or frustrated efforts. God brings a sudden pause to the choral hymns of our lives and we lament that our voices must be silent. We grieve that our part is missing in the music which rises up to the ear of the creator. And yet, how does a musician read a rest, he counts the break with unwavering precision and he plays his next note with confi-dence, as if no pause was ever there, and I say to you, God doesn't write the music of our lives without a plan. Our job is to learn to play the tune without getting discouraged at the rest. A rest can't be slurred over, it can't be omitted, it can't be used to destroy the tune or even change the key. But if we look up, God himself will count the time for us and with our eyes on Him. Our next note will be full and clear. If we say to ourselves, but there is no music during a rest, let us never forget that the rest is part of the making of the music and the process is so slow and pain-ful during this life. How patiently God waits to teach us and how long He waits for us to learn the song." Music, IS, one of God’s greatest gifts.

Submitted by
Jim Haselhuhn


The hymns we sing are an important part of our Lutheran and faith heritage. Did you ever wonder why we sing them? Or how they are chosen for a Sunday service or even for the Lutheran hymnal we use?
Our hymns do not aim to create an atmosphere or mood for worship, but are a vehicle for the Spirit-filled Word of God. They are a proclamation of a divine message, which is as the “living voice of  the Gospel”; and is shaped by the theology of the cross as it interprets the Scriptures in reference to Christ. They may indeed alter moods or create atmospheres, but more importantly they are chosen to plant Jesus Christ, in the ear and in the heart.
Each Sunday’s hymns are chosen to augment the theme of that day, or the minister’s Sermon theme. As you come into the sanctuary and prepare for worship, I encourage you to look at one of the hymns we’re singing and read the words. See if you can recognize why that hymn was chosen in relation to the Sermon topic (the Sermon hymn or ‘Hymn of the Day). See how it feeds our faith, our heart, with the Word of God.
As a special committee of Lutheran musicians considers the hymns to be included in a hymnal, it is very careful to stay true to God’s Word; and the proclamation of the Gospel.
My hope is that you may be blessed with an increased understanding of our singing worship.

In Christ, Judith Bailey

Christ Our Savior Music Ministry

Hi, everyone,

Last month I attempted to explain and give a history of our musical heritage in the hymns we sing together in worship. These are a large part of our giving praise and worship to our Father in heaven; but there are other ways music in our worship is a strengthening of our faith lives as it proclaims God’s Word for us.

As we listen to an instrumentalist(s) play an arrangement of a familiar hymn or melody, the Holy Spirit can speak to us of special words of meaning in that song or the gift of beauty the musician is bestowing on us in the use of their talent for the glory of God; or just the whispering of beauty in the music can be uplifting.

We are in fellowship with one another through these musical offerings and receive the Word through the Spirit in these moments.

How blessed we are as a church to have so many talented people giving us their time and talent to God’s glory: The Chancel Choir, the Jubilate Chime Choir, Jubilate Ensemble, Duets; the Dulcimer Trio; The Appalachian Strings; Flute and Clarinetist, Trumpet; Special opportunities such as the Gospel concerts and the two concerts from the seminary choirs last year to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

These are special moments as we gather in our sanctuary for our offering of praise of our loving God and Father; and receive through His Holy Spirit inspiration for our daily living, with His Presence in our lives. May this help in your spiritual growth through music.