Today’s post is by Talitha Duckworth. Tali is a member of New Joy Lutheran Church in Westfield, Indiana, and is entering her sophomore year of high school. 

LSM stands for Lutheran Summer Music and it is an extraordinary ministry that I was able to be a part of this past summer. This month-long summer camp was an eye-opening faith experience that I will remember for years. While I was there, I built friendships that will last a lifetime.

I have so many favorite parts of LSM that I would not be able to choose just one. Worship was one highlight. I loved morning and evening prayer every day as it was a calm and optimistic way of starting and ending the day. I also very much enjoyed Sunday eucharist. I was on the Worship Team, so every Sunday I would participate in worship leadership (communion server or assisting minister).

At LSM, a good part of each day is spent in music rehearsals. I was involved in band, orchestra, jazz band and a brass quintet. Each rehearsal was about an hour long; this could sometimes be tiring as I was a  trumpet player. But due to this intense rehearsal schedule, I was able to build my endurance and become a better trumpet player.

I think the coolest part of LSM was it being held at the amazing Valparaiso University chapel. Saying this as a pastor’s kid might be slightly biased, but it was amazing how the space would resonate after the organ played a massive chord or how the sun would be reaching through the stained glass on Sunday mornings. It was a beautiful sight. I had the pleasure of being the assisting minister on the final Sunday, an experience I will always remember. Standing in front of hundreds of people reading prayers and distributing communion gave me a feeling of joy I will never forget.

Both my experience in band and the beauty of the chapel combined in another amazing memory I had: playing Lincolnshire Posy, a piece for wind band by Percy Grainger. Playing this piece moved me and empowered me. If you have not heard this piece, go listen to it after you read this because the second movement gives you chills when it is played just right. I had the privilege of playing the trumpet solo in that movement and playing it in the chapel made it even more special. You could hear the chords ring for what felt like minutes after the release. I had this same feeling when in orchestra we played the final movement from the Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky. The final chords were so epic; it seemed that they would ring forever, giving this sensation at the end of the piece that was extraordinary.

I am glad for this opportunity to share a bit about this amazing experience. You can learn more at

Photos: Tali Duckworth. Above Right:Serving as Assisting Minister for Worship. Above Left:Quintet Performance. Below:With other worship leaders at the Chapel of the Resurrection on the campus of Valparaiso University.