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A Brief History of Time Out

Hope you liked the Stephen Hawking reference. :)

Time Out is a podcast of scripture, hymns, and orthodox Lutheran Bible commentary that lasts about 15 minutes. The idea for Time Out first started when I was between churches and yet wanted to hear the hymns that I had heard in church as a kid. I had bought several CDs, but the performances embellished the hymns to the point where I could only listen and not sing along. That was frustrating.

In 2008, podcasts were starting up:
June – Table Talk Radio
July  – God Whisperers began. Radical Grace Radio published podcasts. Fighting for the Faith became more frequent.
September – Higher Things Radio
And of course, there was the Issues, Etc., reboot.

I had already been blogging for three years, so it wasn’t much of a leap to go from posting written updates to audio files. Pr. Craig Donofrio of the God Whisperers suggested a good microphone and a change in the show’s format, both of which I still use today. I registered for my site name, and off I went, beginning in January, 2009.

The first four shows, I played the piano and sang. I wasn’t very good. I spent a lot of time just playing the hymns and piecing them together with audio editing software. As I traveled for business, I was able to enlist some church organists to do some recordings for me:

  • Dale Stanton, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Morristown, TN
  • Dcs. Sara Lemon, playing at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Oakmont, PA
  • Bruce Ahlich, Trinity Lutheran in Traverse City, MI
  • Susie Singer, Zion, Columbus

When August rolled around, I was out of accompaniments, and I didn’t want to go back to piano playing. I put out a message on Facebook: Need an organist with a Lutheran Service Book and a recorder.  Cantor Nathan Beethe of Grace Lutheran Church in Little Rock, AR, said, “I’m your man.”  He recorded 119 different accompaniments for me through December, 2011. Jacob Weber of Emmanuel – Dearborn is second with 15.

Early on I added a scripture reading, reading large chunks at a time to be sure I wasn’t taking anything out of context. Cantor Philip Magness suggested I added a collect, and I use the collects from Pr. William Weedon suggested Paul E. Kretzmann’s Popular Commentary for a bonus feature, the first Lutheran Bible commentary written in English.

Originally I had planned to do an episode every two weeks, but when the show got on Pirate Christian Radio, it was necessary to make a new show every week.

Time Out has expanded its list of Accompanists and Guests, and we have even played a couple of hymns from the French hymnal put out by the Lutheran Church-Canada. Since YouTube has made sharing music very easy, we’ve made hymn videos for Christmas and Easter.

The latest project by Time Out has been a collaboration with the host of another podcast, Matthew Pancake of Radical Grace Radio. We are producing a limited set of hymns that are still singable by everyone but using more digital music to give the hymns a more orchestral feel. We are looking to put a set of these on iTunes.  We’ve done, “Savior, When in Dust to Thee,” and we are looking to do hymns for Easter and beyond.

Time Out is looking for still more accompanists and guests. There have been suggestions to use professional singers for the hymns, but that would take money for travel, equipment, and stipends. I would also like to see videos that are done more professionally, because it is much easier to share videos on YouTube than just podcast audio. We don’t sell advertisements, and we don’t have a “schwag” store. We do have PayPal if people are interested in donating. :)

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