Covenant Celebrates Golden Anniversary, March 2011
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’”
“Celebrating 50 Years of God’s Faithfulness” wasthe motto for Covenant’s 50th anniversary celebration—a week filled with activities that reminded us of our roots, celebrated today, and inspired us to march into the future. The week was anchored by two church services: the first at Highland Park Elementary school, the location of Covenant’s first worship service attended by 104 people in September 1960. The culmination of the week was a multi-building worship service.
Tom Mitchell Preparing Celebratory Setting for 50th Anniversary Worship
Covenant’s Associate Pastor for Discipleship, Tom Mitchell drew on his long experience as a church musician, composer and arranger to prepare an introit to begin the 50th anniversary worship services. The work is a setting of the great hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God,” and will include all of Covenant’s choirs, brass, timpani, organ, handbells and congregation.
The text of the hymn was authored by Martin Rinkart around 1640 and is based on a text from Sirach 50:22-24. Originally written in German, the English translation was prepared by Catharine Winkworth, who translated many of the German Lutheran chorale texts into English. The music was composed by Johann Crüger around 1647. The combined work of Rinkart and Crüger has become one of the great hymns of the church and is still sung in Germany on occasions of national thanksgiving.
Tom Mitchell enjoyed a significant career as a musician prior to his becoming a pastor. He served as Director of Music Ministry at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston and First Presbyterian Church in Nashville. His arrangements and compositions have been widely utilized and his recorded work includes commercial releases by Michael Crawford and The American Boychoir.