Disciples Christian Church Christmas Choir welcomed voices from the community
As the 2016 Christmas season approached, Amanda Powell, music director at Disciples Christian Church, had a vision—to bring together a choir that would promote, through singing, a sense of community and connection.
Because many people are unable to commit to a full year of singing, the commitment would be for the Christmas season only, comprising the three Sundays prior to Christmas.
Powell hoped that church members who were not part of the choir would join the current choir members, and that members of the community that had no connection with Disciples Christian Church would participate as well. People of all musical abilities would be welcomed.
For everyone involved, Powell hoped that “this choir [would] help usher in the holiday spirit this season, slow down the pace of December and bring a sense of connection and community that we all long for.” She sent out a letter detailing all of her hopes with an invitation to “welcome people from all faith backgrounds.”
The Christmas Choir surpassed all expectations. Members of the congregation who are not regular choir members participated, including some of the congregation’s youths and even a mother with her young daughter; non-church members were of a wide variety of ages and faiths. The promise of rehearsals that would “include vocal warm-ups and technique lessons as well as laughter, joyful singing and an inclusive and open prayer circle” was appreciated by all.
Comments about the experience included the following:
“Being a part of the community Christmas Choir was a really uplifting experience at a church full of great people.”
"I experienced a sense of community through singing and getting to know other people. At first people came to sing and then they caught the energy of the director and we started to really connect.”
"I liked the positive environment, the energy of the choir—everyone was so accepting and not pushy about their faith—just passionate. People in the choir had a lot of love and compassion for others. I have never been very religious, and I still am not completely, but this church has beautiful and moving sermons as well as amazing people”
"I liked the spirit, the skill, the music, the fun!”
Powell’s energy, enthusiasm and creative spirit helped to make this a memorable experience for all who participated. It is hoped that another community choir will be a part of the future for Disciples Christian Church.
Ronald Werman is an elder at, and communications chairperson of, Disciples Christian Church.