Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries’ executive director to retire; reception July 29

 Online Staff Report

The public is invited to a retirement reception and concert July 29 to celebrate the retirement of Mariel Heinke, executive director of Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries (RALM).

The concert, titled “Melodies for Mariel: A Ken Medema Concert,” will feature perennial favorite pianist and composer, Ken Medema.

Across the years, Medema has shared his passion for learning and discovery through storytelling and music with an ever-growing circle of followers around the world. He has been performing for more than 40 years in many different venues, including churches, conventions, colleges, corporations and more, for groups ranging from 50 to 50,000 people.

Though blind from birth, Medema sees and hears with heart and mind, singing stories from his audience and accenting themes and perspectives from speakers and workshop leaders. He custom-designs every musical moment through improvisation and new composition to bring each event to life.

Heinke, a former English teacher and lifelong Lutheran, came to the organization one year after it was founded, and has been key in shaping its form and direction. RALM is a partnership organization of 22 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations in the greater Rockford area.

Formed in 1985, RALM is recognized as an official ministry of the ELCA. RALM provides a central information site, community outreach coordination, and cooperative programming for adults, children and teens — programming that would be difficult for one church to provide alone.

The reception and concert will at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural St. The reception begins at 2 p.m., and the concert begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or from the RALM office. Call (815) 962-4279 for information or tickets.

Posted July 26, 2012

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