Category Archives: Music!

Don’t Let the Light Go Out

On Saturday, they found Jacob.

If you live in Minnesota, or if you lived in Minnesota during the past 27 years, you know what I’m talking about. Jacob Wetterling was eleven years old in 1989, when he, his brother, and a friend were biking down a country road. A masked man with a gun stopped them and took Jacob. Basically the nightmare scenario for any parent or caregiver of a child.

Jacob’s family never gave up. They never stopped searching; never stopped hoping. Every year on October 22nd, the day Jacob was taken, the Wetterlings encouraged people to leave their porch lights on. The light was a symbol of solidarity and hope. It lit the way home for Jacob and for other lost and missing children. The work of the Wetterlings and the foundation they started was not only for Jacob, but for all children. Because of the Wetterlings, sex offender registeries exist. Because of the Wetterlings, most missing children do find their way home.  Continue reading


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Filed under Lord in Your Mercy, Music!

Back to School Joy

“I’m tired of playing all day. I want to learn things again.”

That’s my Zoe, who went off to second grade with a big grin on Tuesday:

back to bus.jpg

She couldn’t tell me her favorite part of the first day because “everything was so awesome.” That’s my Zoe, too: when she’s in, she’s all in. She has more “best day[s] ever” than anyone I know. Her joy and enthusiasm for life and learning fill me with joy, too.

I give thanks for Zoe’s joy and excitement, and for the wonderful teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, and others who nurture and guide her and her classmates each day.

Speaking of back to school joy: Continue reading

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Filed under Music!, Thankful Hearts

Another Op’nin’, Another Show


Chorus girls, 192- / Sam Hood

These are not our costumes, but we do have some fabulous headgear.


Tonight’s the night! If you are in the Saint James area, come on over the the Saint James High School Little Theater for Mary Poppins. The show starts at 7 PM and you can buy your tickets at the door or by calling 507/375-4517. $10 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under; tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday. Don’t miss it!

Whether you’re able to make it this weekend or not, please do enjoy this video of the opening of Kiss Me Kate. It depicts our community theater rehearsal process perfectly. (Pro Tip: Of course it doesn’t. Enjoy it anyway.) Continue reading


Filed under Movies and TV, Music!

Three Things That Are Better When You Don’t Know All the Words

“I’ve been to church in Norwegian!” my friend S reported. (We were having one of those wonderful conversations where this was not even a non sequitur.)

“I could only understand about 3/4 of the sermon. Which is, for this agnostic, liberal type, a relief.” (Pro Tip: She then assured me that if it were my sermon, she would hang on every word. Which is what everyone else does on Sunday mornings, I am sure.)

I laughed, but I knew what she meant. Some things are better when you can’t understand all the words. For example:

1. Keanu Reeves. Remember that guy? When I was in college, I watched Point Break with my host family in Mexico. They had such confidence in my Spanish ability that they put on the dubbed version. Fortuitously, this meant that we did not have to listen to Keanu’s actual voice. Once the limitation of his voice and his acting ability are out of the way–hey, it turns out the reason Keanu was a movie star is because he’s pretty cute. Continue reading

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Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Movies and TV, Music!

Lutheran Lullaby

pregnant maggie

2013: Mama and Zoe (and Leo), six weeks after his in utero Beautiful Savior dance party.

Three years ago, I was at a worship service with about 600 other Lutherans.

It was the closing worship service of our Southwestern Minnesota Synod assembly. (Pro Tip: Once a year, people from all the ELCA churches in a given area get together to learn, worship, and do the business of being church together.)

I was seven months pregnant with Leo. And as we sang Beautiful Savior, that baby danced along with great in utero joy. (Pro Tip: I mean, I assume.) Surrounded by the heavenly sound of all those Lutherans singing in harmony, swaying to the music that my baby was dancing to–it was one of those moments. Lovely, and holy, and sweet. Continue reading


Filed under Ministry Matters, Music!, Your Moment of Leo

Celebrating Big and Small

There’s something wonderful about Small.

In my first call, one Sunday there were only about fifteen or twenty of us there for worship. After worship we all crammed around one round table for coffee and treats. We laughed as we took a picture. We celebrated Small.

There’s also something wonderful about Big.

Yesterday, we had a big turnout at church. Run out of bulletins Big. Slip into the sacristy (Pro Tip: that’s a churchy word for Where We Keep and Set Up the Candles and Communion Ware and Stuff) for more communion wine Big. Continue reading


Filed under Ministry Matters, Music!, Thankful Hearts

Music Monday: Delayed Reaction

I am not usually an early adopter–of technology, of fashion, of music, of . . . well, you get the idea.

Image from page 224 of "The Bell System technical journal" (1922)

But when I finally do check out a new (to me) band or TV show or style of yogurt, I am all in.

It was probably four years ago that several of my friends mentioned this Minnesota band called Cloud Cult. But I didn’t listen.

It was probably three years ago that I saw a newspaper article about the same band. I read it, and was intrigued, but still . . . I didn’t listen.

It was about a month ago that I happened to turn on NPR on my way home from dropping off the babysitter. I was instantly drawn into the story of Krista Tippett’s guest, even though Krista Tippett herself drives me up the wall. (Pro Tip: I know. I  know.) I loved the music, too.

Well, spoiler alert: the guest was Craig Minowa and the music was his band, Cloud Cult. Continue reading

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Filed under Music!