Lutheran alternative music? Sounds like an oxymoron. Yet if you’ve gone to an ELCA Youth Gathering, you’ve seen it for yourself — thousands of young people singing songs in worship, led by Lutheran musicians. The sad part is we often look at our own artists and music as something “for the kids” and don’t realize we have an entire library of Lutheran music for emerging generations lying untapped by our congregations and musicians.
Now, thanks to Eric K. Wefald, that has changed with the creation of Lutheran Songs Today Vol. 1, a songbook and worship resource. As a worship pastor, Wefald was frustrated that the songs youth learned and knew as well as “Amazing Grace” weren’t available in band arrangements or in Lutheran hymnals.
After seeing his congregation respond to songs like Lost And Found’s “Lions” and Dakota Road’s “All Are Welcome,” he came up with the idea of a unified songbook for congregational use. Through his publication company, Songs For My Soul Inc.
Wefald has contracted with Lutheran artists like Lost and Found, Jonathan Rundman, Peder Eide and others to produce a volume with band charts, piano/guitar/vocal sheet music, and lectionary/Scripture guides for worship planners as well as a companion CD with tracks by the original bands. After contacting musicians at the Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer, Lutheran artists like Mudhouse, Tangled Blue and even hip hop artist Agape will be included in the second volume. It's scheduled for a November release. Wefald also has taken Lutheran Songs Today on the road for a workshop/conceert series, including a June concert in Sweden.
When Martin Luther was frustrated that there wasn't music in the language of the people and the Reformation, he wrote hymns for worship. The same has happened today: Let your worship leaders know about Lutheran Songs Today and you'll discover a wealth of wonderful songs for more than just youth gatherings.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers