Valley Gospel Singers
The Valley Gospel Singers sing at the church worship service the first Sunday of each month with an hour practice the Wednesday evening before at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome to sing with them to the Glory of God. It’s only a 2 hour a month commitment. Come ALL!
The Cherub Choir and Praise Team fill our worship services with music each Sunday. Each choir offers the opportunity for people of all ages to share their musical gifts during worship.
The Praise Team
As the winter wind whips outside my window, my heart is warm thinking about the wonderful winter the Praise Team has been having. It seems Christmas was ages ago, but the events of the holiday season are worth sharing yet today. The Praise Team got to perform at RASA’s annual Winona Brass Band Christmas Concert at the beginning of December with both Mariah Ciangiola and the RP Valley Praise Dancers. They did a marvelous job, especially enjoying the opportunity to work with Mariah, whose level of talent and kindness are unmatched. Her willingness to work with the kids was a blessing to them, and all parties enjoyed the partnership. The kids did a phenomenal job of learning five new Christmas songs and incorporating new instruments into the mix. I think everyone’s favorite was “Glory” by Matt Maher, in which we employed both sleigh bells and a Ghana seed rattle for the first time.
Another first was that the PT led the 10:00 pm Christmas Eve service! Drawing upon all the songs they’ve learned over the past several years plus a number of new ones, I think they ended up playing eleven songs that night. The late service has always been my favorite, and this certainly made it the most special service ever! The kids did very well staying awake so late at night, too. After the service was over and all the equipment put away, it was close to 11:30 pm. We walked out into the cold dark night to find the most beautiful, gentle snowflakes falling. The forecast hadn’t called for any snow heading into Christmas, so I think we all felt the magic of receiving a special Christmas gift from heaven that night.
Perhaps the most beautiful part of our holiday came through sharing the gift of music outside the walls of the church. On the day of the Christmas program, the kids were all able to participate in some Christmas Caroling. Now, this all came together kind of last minute, thanks to a little inspiration from above. Tina had suggested it early in the season, but we didn’t set a date. We started putting it together on a Friday afternoon and miraculously in the midst of such a busy season, every member of the PT was able to go that Sunday between rehearsal and the program. We went up to the Good Shepherd Home to carol through the halls, making special care to stop by some folks who were not expected to see another Christmas, also stopping at a couple of residences in town. Three of the people we sang to have already gone on ahead to heaven. I think we all felt the sacred beauty in stewarding the gift of music entrusted to us in such a special way. It was an experience I don’t think they’ll ever forget, and I hope to continue this tradition every year.
As we look ahead I’m planning to involve the kids in some “listening sessions”, where we listen to several songs and decide as a group which ones to play. This will give them experience in analyzing the content of a song lyrically and musically and figuring out how to make it a reality. Who will play what instrument? Who will sing a solo? Etc. I like the idea of having them work together as a group to make these decisions, which will hopefully bring them closer as a group, and help them to feel more invested in each song that they sing. We continue to pray that God will work through us, shining His light upon everyone who hears us sing, touching hearts and lives, which is exactly what we saw happen at Christmas.
In the meantime, we’ll also be looking for a way to get all these kids tickets to see Mercy Me in Rochester in March! PT has performed two of their songs in church in the past; “I Can Only Imagine” and “Flawless.” If anyone has suggestions, we would love to hear them, haha!!
Blessings and love,