Prov Bay congregation celebrates dedication of new hymnal

PROVIDENCE BAY—The sound of music, actually new music, rang out in the Community of Christ Church in Providence Bay on December 1, the first day of Advent, as church members welcomed the service for new hymnals.

“This is a special time we share today at the dedication of our hymnals,” Pastor Wes Leeson said as the hymnbook dedication service began. The hymnbook is called ‘Community of Christ Sings’ and includes such songs as ‘The Summons.’

Marilyn Sparham led the singing, saying “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place” with the church members responding by saying, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, to all the earth.” And make a joyful noise they did with songs such as ‘All Are Welcome,’ ‘All Creation Sings God’s Music’ and ‘For Remembering Music Sounding.’ The songs were accompanied by Dawn Dawson on piano and it was a special moment for the congregation when Ms. Dawson played a song and her children Rebecca and Alex sang the hymn.

Former Pastor Lyle Dewar explained the need for new hymnals saying, “Our society is changing, so we try to stay with uplifting songs. They are fun to sing, have lots of ‘up’ to them and are not so morbid. A lot of songs are from people who had problems, prayed about it, had a spiritual experience with God and then wrote songs about it. It is uplifting to other people because they are telling their story through song.” Mr. Dewar went on to explain that the Community of Christ Church shares their hymns with other churches and so one will recognize the songs if they happen to go to another church.

The hymnals, the seventh in the series at the church, have been dedicated in honour or memory of Valerie McFarlane, Patricia and Gary McFarlane, Euginia Wallace, Estella McFarlane and Grace and Reginald Dewar. Also acknowledged were long time members and friends of the Providence Bay Community of Christ Church including Pearl Leeson, Hazel Lanktree, Grace Oakes, Bruce Jewell, Ronnie Gilchrist, Margaret Morphet and the Hopkins family.

The Community of Christ Church was beautifully decorated for the hymnal dedication service and for Christmas. Church member Linda Gilchrist made a beautiful display, complete with all the past hymnals and below that, a nativity scene.

This church can be found in 50 countries throughout the world with headquarters in Independence, Missouri. The Providence Bay church was bought in 1921 and then dedicated. A lot of the new members came from Sandfield as the church there was closing. Everyone is welcome to attend services at the Community of Christ church. Sunday school is at 10 am and the church service is at 11 am.

Betty Bardswich