Festival of Choirs brings fellowship to Huntsville

Apr. 23—Songs will ring from the walls of First United Methodist Church as a number of local churches celebrate sacred music and those who make it. The Ecumenical Festival of Choirs will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the FUMC's main sanctuary.

"This project was really birthed out of the spirit of fellowship and collegiality among several of our local pastors and their parishioners," said Rev. George E. Oliver, Minister of Music at First Christian Church of Huntsville.

"What started with Bible study, grew into wilderness worship services, a combined Thanksgiving celebration, a community conversation on race, and now the Choir Festival."

The event will feature a diverse cross section of Huntsville faith groups, with the festival attracting choirs from Christian, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Apostolic, Catholic, and International traditions.

"We thought it important to honor the faithful contributions our members make each week as they sing unto God, while lifting our spirits," said Rev. Karen Jones, Senior Pastor at FUMC. "They work so hard, but rarely get to hear each other, so we pray this is a way to let the rest of the community share in the heavenly experience we have all the time."

Choirs will each present three songs of their choosing, reflecting their religious, artistic and cultural traditions.

Music will span from High Church Anthems and Hymns to Traditional and Contemporary Gospel.

Following the concert, in keeping with the Cinco de Mayo weekend's festivities, there will be a taco fellowship.

"Breaking bread is its own form of communion, because we finally get to share our spirits with others, without the normal barriers," said Pastor Daniel Paul, Senior Minister at First Christian Church. "I think we could all use a little more time sitting at tables, and making new friends."

"We have but one mission: seeing Huntsville come together," said Rev. Wm. Blake Rider, Rector at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

Oliver expressed eager anticipation of what churches coming together can achieve, quoting a Tevin Campbell lyric: "Imagine what tomorrow will bring, if we all sing one song!"

For more information, call (936)295-3677.

Contact Brenda Poe at editor@itemonline.com