RiG 2019-2020/2 November 2019: Lifelong Friends

Reflecting in Gratitude Series 2019-2020/2

Please note: this post was written by my lifelong friend, Edward Obermueller.

So, what is formed at LSM? One of the numerous things is truly life-altering friendships.

Who is the friend you met at LSM who has accompanied you through more than one phase of your life, with whom you celebrate wins and mourn losses? Name this person and make and expression of gratitude for this friendship on this Reflecting in Gratitude Survey.

The other day I heard from a dear friend whom I met at LSM 30 years ago. As I am putting the finishing touches on my own summer camp, my mind is on the relationships that form at these special times. Lutheran Summer Music was my introduction to the wider world. Coming from Wyoming, I had no idea there were other people who liked to connect around music and faith.

Going away from home as a high school student to stay for a month on a college campus, to be challenged by an orchestra that was better than anything I had ever experienced before, to take private lessons and be in a quartet, to have theory and ear training classes, AND to have worship services every evening that highlighted the importance of music in worship—all of that radically changed the course of my life.

But the best part was the people I met. Looking back, some of the most important people in my life came from LSM.

In the case of my friend, it is truly an amazing thing to look back on all of the ways our lives have taken twists and turns over the years. We have both since married, divorced, married again, had children, moved, moved again, taught, performed, lived abroad, and started businesses. Through it all, our shared love of music kept us connected. Occasionally, we have reconnected artistically and played together, her oboe blending with my violin. What fun! And very fulfilling as the years go by.

Thank you to all who participated so vulnerably in the first gratitude survey last month, sharing the trepidations you had at the very start of your LSM journey and how with whom you navigated them. Close, life-long friendships, the ones that anchor you and aid you in the integration of your life experiences: this is the recurring theme and the prism through which light flows.

Please take a moment to fill out this Gratitude Survey (linked above) and reflect on a significant LSM friendship you have nurtured and been nurtured by. Be sure to then share your response and this email with that friend directly, allowing them to share in the joy of your thoughts and words. The months and years may stretch on, you may be separated by a state or by an ocean, and strangely neither time nor distance are particularly significant; rather, these relationships transcend these things.

Thanks to a collaborative effort with Tom Bandar, LSM Executive Director, plans are underway for an LSM alumni reunion during LSM 2020 Festival Weekend July 22-26. More information is forthcoming, and I would be so grateful if you would indicate a willingness and capacity to assist in the planning and execution. If you can’t do that, we would simply be grateful for your presence.

You can get in touch with us at: alumni@lutheransummermusic.org.

Best wishes,

Edward Obermueller

“I am grateful for the LSM community, established through traditions over the many years before I came to LSM. The community created an incredibly unique environment that enabled me to come out of my social shell and quickly make close, life-long friends.”

–Jami McLaren, LSM 1997

This is number 2 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign

“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”

– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91

LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.