Saturday, July 09, 2011

This Week in Texas Methodist History July 10

Texas Methodist Musical Heritage to be Theme for TUMHS 2012 Meeting

As regular readers of this blog will already know, the Texas United Methodist Historical Society holds an annual meeting. The program of the meeting is organized around a theme. The recently announced theme for the 2012 Annual Meeting, to be held in March in Dallas, is “Texas Methodist Musical Heritage.”

When one considers the theme even briefly, dozens of possible program topics come to mind. Think of Wesley’s hymns as they were being lined out in camp meetings, African-American gospel songs, some of the best organists playing on very fine instruments, children’s choirs, hand bells, Christmas carols in many languages, --obviously the list could go on.

Consider also how Methodists have interwoven sacred music into their institutions. Kidd-Key College specialized in music. One cannot imagine the Methodist Home in Waco without thinking of the children singing Let the Sun Shine In. The singing of Are We Yet Alive at annual conferences gives us a tangible link to our heritage. The number of Texas musicians who received their first musical instruction in a Methodist church is incalculable.

Why is our musical heritage important? I will be so bold as to assert that Methodists have learned more theology through their hymns than through sermons. Our congregational singing is not just a pleasant interlude in Sunday morning worship; music is a principal means by which we transmit the faith.

Perhaps you would like to present a paper on some aspect of the Texas Methodist musical heritage. Email me and I will put you in touch with the program chair.


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