On Thursday, April 8, 2010 there was a shorter than usual LCH choir rehearsal, then it was time for announcements. As soon as Carl read the first words, “Journeys come to an end,” there was an audible gasp and cries of “Oh, no!” from some of the choristers.
Here is the text of the letter:
Journeys come to an end.
Beloved people of LCH,
It is with very mixed emotions that I communicate with you. After much reflection, prayer and personal soul searching, I have decided that next season will be my last as Cantor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. It is extremely important that I share this decision with you now.
I will celebrate my 65th birthday in September, and I need to change some of the priorities in my life.
When I came to the Lutheran Church of Honolulu in 1972, I had no idea that the music ministry here would truly be my life’s work. When I arrived, the liturgical renewal movement was just beginning. Then to find it embraced by our clergy and worship leaders just got all of the creative liturgical and musical juices flowing. Although I had grown up in a very strong Lutheran liturgical tradition, it wasn’t until I came to LCH that I realized that this was truly my “home”. It has been an incredible journey, so much fuller than I could ever have imagined. The wonderful pastors, staff members and most of all choristers that I have worked with over these many years have truly been a gift to me. And Kathy Crosier and Allen Bauchle have been steadfast and dedicated partners in this ministry for a very long time. Although the personal rewards have been a special blessing to me, the sacrifices have also been many. I find that I simply don’t have the energy that I had even a few years ago, and many administrative details have slipped as a result.
I can truly say that the worship and music life of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu has never been better than it is now. All of the choirs are singing music so appropriate to the lectionary directives and at a very high standard in their respective genres. As I have stated on several occasions, my greatest joy is to see the children and youth taking their place as musical ministers of their generation. I acknowledge no direct involvement with the development of that program. But I wish to believe that it has flourished because of the “culture” of LCH, some of which I have influenced.
It may seem unusual that I give more than a year’s notice of my departure. But when you consider that I have been at LCH for nearly two generations, I felt it was important. This should give us all (most of all me) time to accept this change. It will give the leadership of the church an opportunity to plan the transition and consider the various options for the continuation of the music ministry, and it will give us sufficient time to celebrate together. One of my projects for next season will be to gather the resources to present the last great choral masterwork of Johann Sebastian Bach, the B minor Mass!
I can’t thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to work among you these past 37 years and for the great support you have given the music ministry. I look forward with great joy to celebrating my final year with you.
Yours in Christ,
Carl Crosier, Cantor
April 8, 2010
Everyone was then directed to the Board Room for refreshments and to celebrate Carl’s 37 years at LCH.