Singing our Faith with Pastor Kara Baylor
By Madison Kobe ’18
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. In honor of this anniversary that is personal for Carthage, the Center for Faith and Spirituality is putting on an event called “Singing Our Faith: From Chants to Hymns.” To learn a little bit more about the event and why it is important to celebrate Martin Luther, I went to the one woman who probably knows the most about Martin Luther: Pastor Kara.
Why do you believe it is important for us to celebrate Luther and all he did in his lifetime?
Way back in 1999 when the world was caught up in making a list of the most important people across the last thousand years, Luther was consistently in the top ten most important figures. Luther wasn’t the first reformer of the church and hasn’t been the last. However, Luther was the person there at the right time in history to be able to spread a message quickly. In America, we celebrate Luther for what he did in translating scripture into German and setting the stage for scripture being translated in the local languages, and we celebrate the vastness of his writings and his importance to church music. I’m thankful I was able to go to Germany with the 2016 J-term and see and start to understand his larger cultural importance to Germany.
How are Luther’s ideals and teachings exemplified here at Carthage?
Luther was a preacher and a professor, so asking questions and digging deep to find answers is simply part of any school founded in the Lutheran intellectual tradition. Here at Carthage, a word that I hope all students hear during their time here is “vocation.” In the Lutheran tradition, we believe that everyone has been called to use their lives for the sake of serving others; that is what vocation is. Through students’ educational journey here at Carthage, we hope to help each one discover their gifts and give them tools of discernment as our vocations can and will change over our lifetimes.
What are your hopes for the future of this event?
I’m not sure if we will have other events like this. This is specifically about the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
What is your hope for this event?
The hope for this event is for all denominations of Lutherans and other music lovers to come together and see how music has evolved and Luther’s role in it.
What has been a highlight of coordinating this event?
Working to make this a community event.
What challenge(s), if any, have you faced with this event?
Working to make this a community event (and yes, I meant to type it twice).
Join us on Sunday, October 29 at 4 p.m. in the A. F. Siebert Chapel.
The event will feature organist and adjunct organ faculty member Chris Berry, who will play organ pieces associated with the time during which Martin Luther lived. Professor Berry is a world-renowned organist, having previously played for the final liturgy of World Youth Day, presided over by Pope John Paul II. This event provides the opportunity to sing and experience timeless music together. The event is free and open to the public.