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Choir festival sends Advent across the ocean

December 7, 2009 No Comment

Choir from the Oromo community

Swaying to the rhythm of the music, a choir from the Oromo community captured hearts at a Winnipeg Advent festival

WINNIPEG – More than 280 members of Red River Circuit congregations filled the pews and aisles at Saint James Lutheran Church Sunday, December 6 to celebrate Advent with music and to support LCC’s foreign student fund. Five choirs and two soloists brought the message of Christ’s coming in a service based on Responsive Prayer in Lutheran Service Book.

Lutheran Church–Canada President Robert Bugbee preached on Isaiah 52:7 which talks about the beautiful feet of those who preach Good News. He noted how God is using LCC to enable the spread of the Gospel, especially in Ukraine. “From this service we are sending Advent over the ocean,” he said, referring to how the offering from the service will support preparing future leaders of the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine (SELCU).

The service included choirs from Immanuel; Good Shepherd; Saint James; and a joint choir from Beautiful Savior and Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.

For many the highlight of the evening came when members of the East African Oromo community sang two songs, swaying to the rhythm of the music. The previously quiet congregation broke into applause following the first song, expressing appreciation for this unique contribution. The leader of the Oromo group is currently enrolled in LCC’s Pastors with Alternate Training program. His instructor, Pastor Richard Beinert, adjunct professor of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, is also pastor of Immanuel in Winnipeg.

A committee from the circuit organized the event, the second this year. In May a similar gathering at Peace Lutheran Church focused on funding the final construction stages of a seminary building for which Concordia Lutheran Mission Society (CLMS) was gathering funds. That event raised almost $20,000. Envelopes distributed to congregation members throughout the city continued arriving at CLMS so that by the end of the summer both CLMS Ukraine projects, including the seminary construction, were fully funded.

A similar mission-oriented event is planned for the Vancouver and Fraser Valley circuits on Sunday, February 21 at Trinity, Abbotsford.

To support LCC’s Foreign Student Aid fund, go to www.lutheranchurch.ca/donate and click on “Support one of our featured funds today….”

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