From the Executive Director
Daw, Carl P., Jr., The Hymn
"Summertime, and the livin' is easy ..."
Popular though it is, this familiar song from George Gershwin's Porgy und Bess does not offer a very accurate description of the summers spent by most of the people I know who are involved in music and worship ministries. A more apt version would be "Summertime, and the living is busy!" Every year there are more conferences, seminars, tours, and workshops than a person can attend-and often two of the most appealing will be scheduled at exactly the same time! This seems to happen with The Hymn Society conference every year, which puts some of you in a terrible bind.
Because Sunday attendance is often lower and less consistent in the summer, your absence on the Sunday you travel to The Hymn Society conference or some other event may not be noticed by many of the members of your congregation. They may well think you are just on vacation, and it is true that a Hymn Society conference can be wonderfully rejuvenating. But I want to encourage you to be more intentional about letting the people among whom you serve know how and why it is important for you to attend such events.
In many ways our culture is still caught up in the Romantic idea that artistic endeavors like poetry and music should happen spontaneously, witbout the sort of discipline and preparation that are necessary in every other field of human activity. …