Local church choirs to sing in support of Woolwich Counselling at annual Community Christmas Choral Celebration
MANY OF THE AREA’S churches share not only the reason for the season, but will be sharing a stage early next month. Some 100 voices will join together to sing at the Community Christmas Choral Celebration in support of the Woolwich Counselling Centre.
The gathering of Elmiraarea church choirs is set for December 9 at Floradale Mennonite Church. While the event is free of charge, free-will donations will be accepted.
“It’s going to be a great night of celebrating and, most importantly, of course, is raising funds for Woolwich Counselling,” said Eileen Freeman, a fundraiser for the event. “Anyone is invited to sign up.”
Representatives of the Woolwich Counselling Centre (WCC) will also be there to explain their services to the community, as well as help out with ushering people to their seats.
“The ministerial committee has referred to Woolwich Counselling as ‘a natural extension of the churches’ who often provide the necessary initial support and guidance when a community member is in distress,” said Mary Wilhelm, executive director at WCC. “The counselling centre offers affordable professional psychotherapy for individuals of all ages, couples, and families. The centre also provides a variety of mental health and wellbeing workshops.”
Many church members participate in this event.
“We’ve invited individual members from any of the churches to join any of the churches that are the mainstay,” said Freeman. “I know several members from St. James Lutheran that are joining the Elmira Mennonite choir.”
The Choral Celebration is a nearly decade-long tradition, with the concert offered at a different church in the community each year. It’s Floradale Mennonite’s turn for this outing.
“It’s for anybody that wants to come, and it’s just a general celebration of the Christmas season and a general community celebration,” said Freeman. “Every church has taken turns hosting it. Elmira Mennonite has hosted it; Gale Presbyterian hosted it last year, as well as Trinity United and St. Teresa. So it’s a real community event that brings everyone together.”
The group will perform a variety of hymns intermingled throughout the program. Christmas Peace Canon arranged by Jean Anne Shafferman and When Christmas Comes by Joanna Schwarz are examples of songs on tap for the evening.
“The final selection is sung in four-part harmony by all the choirs; musicians and the congregation join in, which becomes a very majestic and powerful experience,” said Wilhelm.
“It’s quite amazing,” added Freeman. “The group will be practicing in the afternoon on December 9 and then performing at 7 that night.”
The Community Christmas Choral Celebration will take place on December 9 at 22 Florapine Rd., Floradale, starting at 7 p.m.