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A Marathon of Hymns

Celebrating Christ's Victory

Friday January 29, 2021

The entire Our Savior Lutheran Church and School community will endeavor to sing all the hymns in The Lutheran Service Book. 

We'll begin at 8:30a with 331 The Advent of Our King and end as evening falls with 966 Before You Lord We Bow.  In between we’ll utilize classes from the school, individuals, and small groups to continuously sing through at least one stanza of each of our hymns.

The marathon will be livestreamed to our school Facebook page, hopefully enticing Christians around the globe to join their voices with ours in this unprecedented hymn sing.

Our Savior Lutheran Church is currently raising funds to replace our well-loved organ. Click below to see more information on the project, and donate above if you are so inclined!





In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking special precautions to keep the participants of this Hymn Marathon safe:


  • All Our Savior Lutheran School students and faculty will continue to abide by all safety protocols in place for our school day; including health screening, masks, cohort separation, increased ventilation, and physical distancing. Participants outside of OSL students and staff will participate remotely through digital means (in other words, no visitors on campus during the school day). 

  • Participation after the school day will occur in the Our Savior Lutheran Church nave and the protocol for that time period will reflect the same protocol used in Our Savior Lutheran Church services. 

  • All participation, both during the school day and after, is voluntary. 

Double Your Impact Through NIKE! A Hymn Marathon

Essential to our musical vitality as a congregation is a quality organ that leads God's people in song for generations to come. With our current organ in quick decline, NIKE will raise funds for a worthy replacement. Not only that: Generous donors who care deeply for our church's musical life have stepped forward to match your donation dollar-for-dollar. Follow our Facebook account during the hymn marathon for more information on doubling your impact and ensuring that "from morn to set of sun through the church the song goes on" (LSB 940).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we doing a Hymn Marathon?

I suppose we could ask, “Why do any marathon?”  Very few people run 26.2 miles for the sake of winning, and certainly there is no competition for the singing of 635 hymns. Yet there is a Victor, Jesus Christ!  The very title of our hymn marathon - NIKE! - is derived from the Greek word for victor.  Our Savior’s great triumph through His incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension is the Win that opens our lips in song.  Our primary reason for giving voice to all of Lutheran Service Book is to proclaim the Lord’s defeat over sin, death, and hell to a world in desperate need of a Champion.


Why is NIKE! A Hymn Marathon a Fundraiser?
The plan to sing through all the hymns in the Lutheran Service Book started with a seemingly outrageous request that has echoed from indefatigable young Christians at Our Savior for years, “Can we please sing ALL the hymns in the hymnal?”  Finally, the request came from a young gentleman on the same day that the organ committee was slated to discuss upcoming ways to encourage donations for our future instrument.  That glad pairing was buoyed by an odd year of protocols, streaming, and schedule adjustments that have taken away many of the normally slated concerts and events.  This left us with time and energy to take on a slightly crazy project as well as a world primed to receive unprecedented undertakings via the internet. While saturating social media with hymns we also hope to increase awareness and funding of another massive and seemingly outrageous plan, our pipe organ project.  The goal to improve the quality of music in our worship and education for generations of future young Christians and their indefatigable song is a burden we pray others will be willing to bear with us.


Why does NIKE! A Hymn Marathon involve both the church and school?

At OSL we are unified as a church and school.  We mostly use that language when we’re talking about the budget, but the unification is much bigger than dollars and cents.  It’s unity in Christ.  In Him we live life together.  Therefore, what serves the church serves the school, and vice versa.  Our lives look and sound alike, from the scriptures we learn by heart, the sermons we hear, and the hymns we sing.  This endeavor is for all of us, young and old alike.

How does the fundraising portion of NIKE! A Hymn Marathon work?
There are no required pledges, or forms, or donations.  We’ll simply have a link to our online donation page where viewers can read more about who we are at Our Savior Lutheran and our project to enrich the lives of our members and students through God’s Word accompanied by the authentic beauty of the pipe organ.  That page will also hold a handy “Donate Now” button for listeners interested in helping us to work toward that goal.

What preparation is being done for the NIKE! A Hymn Marathon?

At the risk of overextending the marathon metaphor, all successful marathoners require long range training plans.  Certainly in these last weeks before the event we are putting in some intensely focused preparation, but the real work has been done by this singing congregation and school for decades.  OSL is known as a place where God’s Word is sung in full voice.  An event covering this quantity of hymns could only be tackled by a congregation that loves, values, and uses hymns from week to week and even day to day.  We’ve been training for this our whole lives.


How will the school children participate?

Singing will begin with the OSL student body from the gym at 8:30.  Throughout the day the children will rotate in and out singing, going about their academic day, singing, playing outside, singing, eating special treats and lunches, and singing some more.  All current COVID protocol will remain in place, including the restriction of outside guests, therefore we’ll have a secondary location and streaming sight for congregation participation.


How do congregation members participate?

There are two ways:
The 8:30-3:30 Way:  The church nave will be the secondary sight for the Hymn Marathon from 8:30-3:30.  Congregation members (and friends) can sign up for a half hour slot to come to church to be part of the streaming.  Once you’ve signed up for a time slot Kantor Roberts will contact you to let you know which hymn(s) you’ll be responsible to sing.  Mrs. Beuschel will be available to accompany those singers.  More details about that sign-up can be found on the SignUp Genius link:

The 3:30 -?:?? Way:  Starting at 3:30 the Hymn Marathon will be streamed entirely from the church nave.  Everyone is free to come and join in the song at their convenience.  No sign-up necessary.  All normal church protocol remains in place.


Are there non-singing ways to volunteer?
Absolutely!  We need people to provide snacks and water for the singers at church and school, to organize the t-shirts, and probably to do some odds and ends jobs that we haven’t even thought of yet.  If you would be willing to take on one of those tasks please sign-up here: 


Is there Marathon Swag?

Of course!  Why do a marathon if you can’t have the bragging-rights t-shirt!  Thanks to the generous donation of the OSL PTL and Thrivent each student at the school will be given a free NIKE! shirt.  But don’t worry, there are shirts available for adult purchase as well.  If you would like to buy a shirt please contact the church office (616) 949-0710 or  Limited sizes and numbers are available, so act now!!


Certainly we do this every time we gather for the Divine Service, but on January 29 we’ll be singing the hymns en masse, not just in Mass.

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