Monday, August 15, 2011

Sing to the Lord--A Wonderful Ecumenical Experience

 POPS River Revival--Ecumenical Concert (click on this link to see excerpts from the concert)

    I have been coming to Eagle River to assist at St. Peter the Fisherman Parish in the summerti
me since 1995.  After a few summers I became aware of an ecumenical concert put on by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church here in Eagle River. I joined the choir in 2005 and have sung each summer since then (except in 2006 when I had to stay in Florida to take care of health issues). People from many different churches and denominations come together to praise the Lord in song with music from the Great Awakening and Revival periods.  This year there were 105 of us plus the directors.  You can see some excerpts from the concert by clicking on the link above.

   Ever since the Second Vatican council promoted ecumenism I have been a strong supporter of any effort in that direction.  Honest ecumenism doesn't whitewash our differences with other Christians but seeks to celebrate our common ground which is belief in God and in God's Son, Jesus Christ, with the hope that such common sharing will lead to greater unity and the overcoming of our differences.  Right now I think that we are stuck in a time where great steps forward have been taken but we don't know just how to proceed from there.  We certainly need to pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us and to open doors that we don;t seem to be able pass through right now.

   Right from the start i have not only enjoyed singing with POPS, but have been impressed by the deep Christian faith of its members.  This was especially so in 2006 when I could not come to Eagle River.  Not only did I receive prayerful support from the Catholics in Eagle River, Phelps and  Land O'Lakes, but also from the members of the choir from many different churches.  I will never forget that.

   As for the singing part of it I have always loved singing ever since Sr. Mary Magdalene "volunteered" me to join the boys choir at my boyhood parish of St.William's in the Savin Hill neighborhood of Boston.  I was a member of the seminary choir and am told that I do well singing the Mass parts.  Because I'm the presider though I don;t get to sing in the choir.

   POPS gives me a chance to do that.  We practice every Wednesday evening for 6 weeks and have a dress rehearsal on the Sunday night prior to the concert.  The concert runs for three nights (Tuesday through Thursday) and a free will offering is taken each night with proceeds going to local charities.  This year we raised over $5000.00. I hope to keep coming back to POPS and hope that you my readers will seize whatever opportunity presents itself to join with other Christians in prayer, song or promoting works of charity and justice.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Father John- Thank you for your kind words regarding the Revival concerts! We are successful in this ecumenical event because of our summer residents and lovers of music like you! We look forward to your arrival in E.R. this summer and your presence in the "Tenors Rule!" section of the chorus. God Bless You and your work. Kris