“Could our mission abroad cultivate a center for music? Is this really realistic?”
Music centers in the foreign mission field are indeed realistic! In fact, music is often one of the most effective ways of connecting people who find themselves specifically in the mission field.
In a foreign mission context, the church often competes with the influence of different strains of Christianity and different forms of paganism. Music helps lead a community into a culture that is not only Christian, but truly Lutheran! The best and most practical summary of that Lutheran culture is found in our liturgy and hymns. Having that music preserved in a hymnal which is used and taught regularly further facilitates faithful worship and a rich sacramental life.
Music in a foreign context also carries the culture of the Church to places where pastors are denied access. A music studio or conservatory, for example, may be permitted when a church is not. A music teacher may be able to travel where a pastor or missionary cannot. And sacred music itself, especially recorded music, may find its way through the Internet or on the airwaves to places no missionary can enter. All of these are ways music centers can benefit the mission field.
David’s Harp is eager and excited to work with our missionaries. When Vicar Ben Vanderhyde was preparing for a music-based vicarage in Sri Lanka, he visited St. Paul’s Conservatory for insight and ideas. We are also in ongoing conversation with Pastor Roger James in the Philippines and Kantor Martin Dicke in Papua New Guinea. Our newest partnership is with Deaconess Sandra Rhein, who serves as a Sacred Music Educator in Asia. Together we will draw on experts across the synod to write, compose, teach, translate, travel, and administer projects aimed at sharing the gospel through music.
Watch this page for updates on these and other mission sites that are utilizing the resources of David’s Harp to reach their musical potential abroad.