"Sing For Joy specializes in the music of hope," says Bruce Benson, who has served as St. Olaf College pastor since 1981. "And music has such a wonderful capacity to express hopefulness — even when it is not happy. Words struggle to do that, but music does it all the time. Every Sing For Joy program reminds me that music's power manifests itself in so many ways."
Before beginning his current ministry at the college, he served pastorates in Albert Lea, Minn., Billings, Mont., and Sioux Falls, S.D. Benson holds a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Conn.
Through sacred choral music and thoughtful commentary expressing the biblical themes that are the basis of Christian worship for each week in the church year, Sing for Joy prepares listeners for worship, reinforces their worship experience and, for many listeners, is their primary form of worship during the week.
The musical performances "do the talking," while the concise commentary illustrates the meaning of the texts. There are a lot of songs about love in this wide world, but songs about the deeper beauty of love divine seem to be the most enduring.