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Welcome, Sam Grace!

June 6, 2022

Dear Friends of St. Philip the Deacon,

I am delighted to announce that, following a nationwide search, Samuel Grace will join the St. Philip the Deacon family as our next Director of Music Ministry.

Since graduating from Gustavus Adolphus 11 years ago, Sam has quickly established himself as a gifted choral conductor and respected musical leader. He has held music directing positions at churches in Long Lake and Minneapolis in Minnesota, and in Bloomington, Indiana, and is the founder and artistic director of MPLS (imPulse), a semi-professional choral ensemble based in Minneapolis. In part to recognize his innovative and entrepreneurial work in founding and leading this ensemble, he was awarded the First Decade Award from Gustavus, presented to one alumnus of each 10th anniversary class to recognize early professional achievement and lasting contribution to the world of ideas and affairs.

In addition to his B.A. in music performance from Gustavus, Sam also received a Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of Minnesota, and will receive his Doctor of Music in choral conducting this fall from the University of Indiana Jacobs School of Music. He will officially begin his role in mid-July, and he and his family—his wife, Megan, and 14-month-old son Emmett—will be moving to the Twin Cities from Bloomington, Indiana, in August.

“I am thrilled to be joining the SPD family,” says Sam. “I look forward to creating new relationships with a community that has already welcomed me so lovingly and enthusiastically. It is an honor to follow in Linda Armstrong’s footsteps, who has built an outstanding legacy of music and worship at SPD. I can’t wait to meet you all!”

At St. Philip the Deacon, Sam will oversee worship planning, conduct our Sanctuary and youth choirs, coordinate guest instrumentalists, and help us develop and manage a new community music series. In all of these areas, he will be working closely with our pastoral team and with Kraig Windschitl, our organist and handbell choir director.

I will say again here what I have written and said repeatedly in other places: Music is a core and essential part of who we are—both as Lutherans in general, and as members of St. Philip the Deacon in particular. We have been blessed with a long and lasting legacy of exceptional music here, and I have every confidence that Sam will not only continue this tradition, but will help us to expand and build on it. I am delighted to welcome him and his family to our faith family, and I know you will join me in this welcome when you have a chance to meet him later this summer.

Blessings,
Tim Westermeyer
Senior Pastor

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— CHRISTIAN WISDOM —

“He who plants kindness gathers love.”

Basil