Community Hymn Sing
“Hymnody through the years has provided a strong theological base for churches that we dare not lose,” said Dr. Charles Lake, founding pastor of Community Church of Greenwood. “It is invaluable.”
Hymns of Importance
A retired pastor, Lake still fills the pulpit around the nation for pastors who are on vacation or sabbatical. From these travels, Lake’s spiritual heart has sensed a deep void in today’s worship services. The majority of churches have greatly strayed away from the traditional hymns to a contemporary genre in their worship services.
About a year ago, Lake expressed his concern to friends from different Greenwood churches. Unknowingly at the same time, God had been working in the hearts of these same friends to create an opportunity for people to connect again with great hymns like “Amazing Grace” and “The Old Rugged Cross.”
In October 2014, the first Community Hymn Sing (CHS) took place. The name alone stated its purpose. According to David Freeman, the CHS music leader, the event is neither a concert nor an event for just the congregation of the host church. The occasion welcomes the whole community to take part and share in worship with their voices and a piano, whether it be as an audience participant or choir member.
Typically, 15-18 hymns make the final cut for each CHS. As to song selection, Freeman considers familiarity of the hymn and the message or theme for the evening. “Hymns such as ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Blessed Assurance’ may have words or phrases that seem foreign or antiquated to a contemporary audience. However, the message contained within these great hymns is still relevant to the world in which we live,” Freeman said humbly. “Most importantly, we want music that exalts Christ and keeps Him the center of this musical expression of our faith.”
Members of the Body of Christ share a common bond with all other Christians, regardless of background, race or ministry. CHS choir director Dean Jones has directed several choirs in his lifetime, but none have placed him in awe as much as standing in front of the 100-member CHS choir representing 18 churches.
“At the past rehearsals, friendships were made or rekindled with an equal concern for each other, which led to a choral experience of many coming together as a unit to express the various songs in a way to answer the question, ‘Do you see what Christ is doing in your life today?’”
Plans now include both a fall and spring Community Hymn Sing. Mount Pleasant Christian Church (MPCC) will host the fall Sing. The CHS fall choir rehearsals will take place at MPCC on Sunday, September 13 from 3:30-5 p.m. and again on Saturday, September 26 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Those interested in being in the choir are encouraged to attend the rehearsals, entering MPCC through the southeast doors. Please contact Dean Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve the choir members’ sheet music.
The invitation is open to anyone. If you would like to sing music from your heart to the Lord or to know more about Jesus Christ, join the Community Hymn Sing in worship on Sunday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. at MPCC, 381 N. Bluff Rd., Greenwood.