I recognize that most millennials and others younger than I am don't fill concert halls or churches to hear pipe organ music these days. Still, there's a place for the thundering, sweet tones that pipe organs produce by the hands of a skilled organist.
One of those organists is my sister Karin, who has spent much of her career playing pipe organs in various locations after she got her degree from the Juilliard School of Music in New York. (You can hear her occasionally now playing at weddings at the chapel of Mills College in Oakland, Calif.)
But it turns out that organists are sort of a dying breed.
As this Baltimore Sun story reported recently, "At a time when fewer Americans describe themselves as affiliated with any religious denomination, the ranks of those who play the instrument long considered a mainstay of Christian worship — the organ, and most specifically, the pipe organ — are thinning. . .Most church organists stay in their positions for decades, but when they do retire, there frequently is no one to replace them. The shortage has been changing the sound of Christian worship in the United States.
A CALL TO SAVE LEGAL AID
The head of the Christian Legal Society writes that it would be disastrous to defund legal aid services, as proposed by the Trump administration. The Legal Services Corporation, he writes, "is now only permitted to help individual clients with their day-to-day legal concerns." So today, he says, it is "an organization that helps people get access to justice when they have no other means." Which puts meat on the bones of our Pledge of Allegiance description of the U.S. as a place with "justice for all."