Category Archives: Tyler


In The Face of Temptation – Lenten choral piece

An original piece of music for your choir’s undertaking!

Written seventeen years ago, based on a melody from two hundred years ago!

This piece is appropriate for the First Sunday in Lent, but here it is being posted on the last Sunday of the season, this year… in ample time to learn it for next year!

Download the pdf-file, including SATB and accompaniment parts , here.

Audio of the first performance of this piece:

“In times of trial, we pray, guide us safely along the way.”

Remember God Loves You (song)

A song for young people!

Remember God Loves You: in Baptism, in Communion, in our gathering. We experience God’s love through those around us; God’s love touches all the senses!

A sheet with lyrics and chords: PDF file – Remember God Loves You

For a simple performance of the song, this link takes you to a video clip.

An audio recording:

Seeking Truth and Reconciliation

Is your community working at connecting with First Nations communities close-by? Our ELCIC has issued a statement engaging recommendation #48 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls on religious groups to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

I wanted to gather a number of links to websites that have helpful resources for us, as Lutherans in Canada, who may be seeking ways of intentionally engaging the TRC recommendations. So, this blog is to do just that!

Can we make a point of acknowledging that we are treaty people and we gather on traditional lands when we meet at our church worship services, council meetings, community celebrations, and so on? How do we do that respectfully? Here are some suggestions:
-from the United Church of Canada
-from a resource for universities
-from KAIROS

How do we know which Treaty territory we’re on? Check these pages:
-Manitoba Wildlands and this map (in MB)
-Native Land website
-Wikipedia’s list of numbered treaties

In Winnipeg, there is an initiative to get Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people in conversation and forming friendships. They are called “Circles for Reconciliation” and have a website.

The ELCIC/Anglican Church of Canada National Youth Project has invited young people to learn about struggles in, and to connect with, First Nations communities near their homes. (See more information on the webpage.)

A delegation from the ELCIC, and particularly the MNO Synod, went to Split Lake in late-June/early-July of 2016. There is a 27-minute video of their experience. Also, take a look at “Reserve 107,” documenting the experience of Mennonites and Lutherans, and First Nations, in Laird, Saskatchewan.

We, as Lutherans, need to break out of our comfort-zones. We can be intentional about taking steps towards our neighbour, seeking relationship, and – in this case – mending of relationship since we are descendants of settlers who have had a turbulent past with our First Nations communities.

Lots of Privilege among Lutherans

It’s hard to take a step back and look critically at one’s self. It’s hard to admit we may have ugly parts.

In Canada, and among our Lutheran communities, do we struggle with identity, privilege, and even prejudice? What makes us “Lutheran?” Certainly we know about specific theological positions (e.g. grace!), and we know about biblical study, and liturgy. But do we associate cultural aspects – even ethnic heritage – with our Lutheran identity so strongly that we end up being blind to certain “walls” we may end up building?

Here are some ways, and resources, in which we might engage the question of privilege in our communities.

This blog by a thoughtful, and youthful (!), Lutheran points out ways in which stereotypes about Canadians can even create division among people, based on skin-colour or economic status.

This article – and its list of “invisible traits” – goes back to early days of conversation about what creates privileged position in society. Consider going through the list to see where you might fit!

A short video that documents an interesting experiment about privilege.  And a checklist to determine one’s level of privilege.

The Canadian Council of Churches has created a resource, and has highlighted some other resources, that are helpful – click here.

One church organization has compiled a helpful list of resources here.

And here is a website from the (American) United Church of Christ that includes a curriculum for understanding privilege in society.

These are hard things to grasp! And we don’t want to think we hold prejudice against anyone. There are “intangibles” – things we take for granted, and don’t even consider – when we have privilege because the dominant parts of society work for us. They are things we don’t want to let go of, but we are called to hold up the needs of those who are oppressed or on the margins of society. If we have resources and opportunities that others don’t for reasons that are completely out of their control, we must work to level the playing field, to hold up the need of others, and work towards equality and opportunity for all!

Go And Tell (song)

On this Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C, we read Luke 4:14-21 as the gospel text in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).

In 1999, the BC Synod of the ELCIC held a youth gathering in the Okanagan. The theme of the gathering was “Go and Tell,” and the guiding text for the weekend retreat was Luke 4:18-19.

In the spirit of youth gatherings, and in congregational song, here is a piece you might use in your community!

To hear it as it was done at that 1999 youth gathering, check out this YouTube clip.

Downloadable pdf-file of the song: Go And Tell

Order of Release (Bondage and Liberation – Confession and Forgiveness)

In our worship orders, it can be common to use an “Order of Confession and Forgiveness” – often at the beginning of a service.  …and sometimes we’re more likely to include this part of the service when we’re in the reflective season of Lent – a time where we’re invited to ponder mortality, and our human nature and who we are in the world.

As an alternative, words using language about being bound to unjust systems and accepting responsibility for our part in such systems, as well as words of absolution that talk about being freed to live otherwise, are offered here (see pdf-files at the bottom of this entry).

We know that our food is often produced in far-away places, sometimes using chemicals that can poison water-sources and shipped on barges and trucks that release carbon into the air; we know that people work in poor conditions for long hours to sew the clothes we wear; we know that the coffee we drink, the chocolate we enjoy, the metals used in the production of our electronics… all of these have significant human and environmental cost – and we don’t need to turn a blind eye to such costs. We can work to change those systems.

The first step to change is to acknowledge the injustice and our part in it. So, more than saying that we are bound by “sin,” let’s name those places where our lives are detrimental to relationship with others. Let’s say it out loud, and let’s work to change our living.

God is gracious, God frees us to live justly – to work at living in a way that all may have life.

(The image of hands that is used was found in Sundays and Seasons a number of years ago – credit to Augsburg Fortress)


pdf file: LITURGY_bondage-liberation_pew-insert

pdf file: LITURGY_bondage-liberation_presider

resource written by pastors Tyler Gingrich, Nolan Gingrich, Vern Sundmark

Advent 1

Advent… the time of waiting, preparing, anticipating, and hoping for a new thing.

Author, Carl Sandburg is quoted, “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” New life breaks into the world and we are changed! New life is a gift, and it also challenges us – we have to nurture it, love it into being, and also bear with it as it may annoy us and get on our nerves! But if the world is to go on with this new life in it, and if God is the source of life, we can celebrate change!

Peace and blessings to you in this advent journey, and in the year to come!