Who says conservative Lutherans don't like contemporary Christian music in church? We do. It's just that we want the contemporary Christian music to be, you know, hymns, as opposed to pop ditties. And we do need new hymns. Towards addressing that need, I am happy to announce that some twenty-somethings in our congregation, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church in Vienna, Virginia, have organized a major hymn-writing competition. They have raised a $1,000 prize and have arranged for publication. For details and for just learning about what the big deal is about hymns, check out the website: St. Ambrose Hymn Writing Contest.
Here are the parameters of the contest:
So the texts the hymn is supposed to elucidate deal with the Day of the Lord, Jesus coming back like a thief in the night, and the Parable of the Talents.
Yes, I have been asked to be one of the judges, but I will show no favoritism to the tunes of Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, or other artists that I can go on and on about on this blog. (Well, if Bob Dylan enters the contest with a lectionary hymn, he might have an edge with me.)
But, seriously, you can use an existing hymn tune, if you like, or you can compose your own. The words will be key. You know those numbers at the bottom of each page in a hymnbook? 7.7.7., 18.104.22.168, 10.10.10.10. Those are the number of syllables in each line. That's important to know in writing words to go with a particular tune.
Anyway, enter! Try it. You need not be Lutheran to win. There is a thousand dollar prize! The deadline is December 1. Maybe your hymn too will be sung in future centuries.