Uniting Voices, Glen Waverley Uniting Church

What happens when church members cease to volunteer?

The Choirs of the Presbytery and Methodist churches in Glen Waverley came together when the Uniting Church came into existence in 1975. Over the years we have seen members come and go, but many of the original choir members are still present and enhance worship at the 11am service.

During 2020 singing was made difficult due to the covid-19 restrictions, but the most difficult and sad event, was the passing away of the Choir Leader, Lyn Bromage, whose love of choirs saw her travelling to Glen Waverley from Lilydale. She was much loved by all in the congregation and is sorely missed.

In the interim of finding a new Choir Leader, Uniting Voices have been invited to join one of our other choirs, Free Spirit, which is under the musical direction of Deb Leigh. The dedication of Free Spirit and The Band during this period enhanced our worship as we listened to them through zoom and our broadcast ministry.

The enthusiasm of our choirs has meant that as we think of working towards reopening our church for worship, Uniting Voices are ready to practice again for the 11am worship service. This does not mean that they have abandoned Free Spirit, but rather many are now singing in two choirs! However, Uniting Voices still need a Choir Leader.

The process of advertising is about to start, but from experience we have seen that the calling for a Choir Leader in a voluntary role is very difficult. None of our choir leaders receive a salary, as our singers and accompanists. All are volunteers.

So why persist with a Choir? Mitch de Klein is an up and coming Techno producer and DJ from the Netherlands who has said there are eight reasons why music is important.

I would like to add to his list that as people of God it is also fulfilling the command to sing God's praises. There are many references in the Bible to sing such as in Psalms 104:33 and we know the Levite priests sang as a choir in the Tabernacle and Temples (I and II).

Brian Hehn, who serves on the Executive Board of The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada says there are four reasons why churches need choirs:

So when stewardship cannot support choirs due to financial limitations, it is the volunteers who step up. If members of the congregation cease to volunteer then slowly we see the slow death of meaningful worship through not only music and choirs, but eventually through the word. This is a plea for those who have gifts to use them to praise God through music and voice, and yes we are looking for a choir leader at Glen Waverley. So, if you feel called to be part of this vibrant congregation, by enhancing worship with Uniting Voices please contact Susan Karoly at susan_karoly@hotmail.com or 0433 692 862.

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