Canadian Church Musician Partners with
Canadian Foodgrains Bank on “Tour of a Lifetime”
Composer Ron Klusmeier to perform across Canada for the Foodgrains Bank
WINNIPEG, MB — Throughout his 41-year career as a church musician and composer, Ron Klusmeier has toured across Canada multiple times, sharing music that inspires and moves people to action.
Now, as he prepares to retire, he will do one final tour—a “Tour of a Lifetime”—on behalf of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
“I want my final tour to do something significant for others,” says Klusmeier, who has visited over 2,000 churches across North America since 1971, performing, leading workshops, and serving as a worship consultant.
“It’s my hope that it will inspire people to action on behalf of the many people in the world who don’t have enough food to eat.”
Although he spent most of his career in the United Church of Canada, including three years as that church’s National Music Ambassador, Klusmeier has a deep commitment to ecumenism; his music has been included in hymnbooks of the United, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Methodist and other churches, and his music has been part of every assembly of The World Council of Churches since the Fifth Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya in 1975.
His commitment to building bridges between churches made working with the Foodgrains Bank—an organization made up of 15 churches and church agencies representing 32 denominations working together to end global hunger—a natural choice.
“Sometimes there are walls that denominations inadvertently build between people, but the Foodgrains Bank brings churches together for a common goal to end global hunger,” he says.
During the tour, which starts in August 2012 and continues through to June 2013, Klusmeier will perform and offer workshops on music, teaming with volunteer choirs at almost 200 churches from B.C. to the Maritimes. His wife, Christina, will lead workshops on the use of technology in worship.
A significant portion of ticket sales for each concert will be donated to the Foodgrains Bank; concert-goers will also be given an opportunity to fill out a card addressed to the Prime Minister, asking him to remember the needs of the world’s hungry when allocating Canada’s resources.
Of special interest to Klusmeier is visiting as many rural churches as possible.
“I have a real passion for small-town Canada,” he says. “It’s been my experience that people in small-town churches are often among the most creative when it comes to worship.”
Passion for Justice
He also has a passion for social justice. “The Gospel calls us to be people of justice and peace, says Klusmeier, who traces his commitment to making the world a better place back to his teens in the U.S., when he supported the Civil Rights Movement in that country.
“My life’s goal has been to share my passion for justice, peace and showing compassion for people in need,” he says. “I do that best through my music.”
In fact, many of the over 700 hymns and songs Klusmeier has composed contain lyrics about peace, justice and God’s call to show compassion to others—including the needs of those who are hungry.
“Our goal is to use music to raise money for the Foodgrains Bank, and also raise awareness about the millions who don’t have enough to eat,” he says. “We want to use this tour to inspire people to help those who are hungry.”
The Observer Magazine
The second major partner in this tour is the United Church Observer. Ron Klusmeier’s first recording (an LP record!) was produced by the Observer in 1972. That recording, coupled with Klusmeier’s appointment as a Music Ambassador with the national office of the United Church, launched a 40-year career which saw him composing and introducing hundreds of hymns and songs for worship.
The fact that the Observer was a catalyst at the start of Klusmeier’s ministry makes its partnership in this final “Tour of a Lifetime” all the more meaningful for him. “The Observer is the only magazine I receive which motivates me to drop everything when it appears in my mailbox,” he says. “It’s my connection not only with the United Church of Canada, but with the global family of faith.”
Go to www.foodgrainsbank.ca and click on ‘Get Involved’ to see when Ron Klusmeier will be in your area – just one more time.
Promotional photos of Ron Klusmeier available at www.musiklus.com.
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. Together with matching support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Foodgrains Bank has provided over one million tonnes of food assistance to people who are hungry since 1983. Learn more at www.foodgrainsbank.ca.
Canadian Foodgrains Bank
400-393 Portage Ave. (Portage Place Mall)
Winnipeg, MB R3C 2L4
Founded in 1829, The United Church Observer is the oldest continuously published magazine in North America and the second oldest in the English speaking world. It has won international acclaim for journalistic excellence and garnered more awards for writing than any other Canadian religious publication. Editor David Wilson says of his mandate for the publication in contemporary Canada: “We seek to offer the United Church and Canadians generally a church magazine that exceeds people’s expectations of church magazines.” Learn more at www.ucobserver.org/about.