Christmas carol sing will have folksy appeal
By LINDA M. LINONIS
Liberty Presbyterian Church will present a Christmas carol sing as a gift to the community.
The event is planned for 7 p.m. Saturday at the church, 1451 Church Hill-Hubbard Road (Route 304).
John Robert “Bob” Loch has served at the church for 18 months. He said the church tried the sing last Christmas season and had a positive response.
Loch said the musical program will be led by Tim Clifton, president of the congregation, who plays the guitar. “He brings a folks way of connecting to people,” he said. He said the carol sing hopes to borrow some of the flavor of National Public Radio’s former “A Prairie Home Companion” and its host, Garrison Keillor. The pastor said the evening will take place at Seceders Corner, not Lake Wobegone. Seceders Corner is the corner of Logan Way and Route 304, which the church is near.
Traditional carols such as “Joy to the World,” “Hark the Herald Angels,” “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful” and “Away in the Manger” will be among selections. Though some might want “Silent Night, Holy Night” to be among the choices, Loch said that is a special song for Christmas Eve.
Also providing musical support will be the church organist, Rennie Davis.
Loch said he hopes those attending will take time to think about the words they are singing. “Too often we sing the words but don’t understand the meaning. I hope people don’t do it by rote but think about the words,” he said.
While the Christmas carols will take center stage, Loch said he plans to enhance the experience with relevant passages of Scripture and prayers. He said that passages from Luke, including the angel’s announcement to Mary, will be included.
“Advent is about anticipation and expectation,” Loch said of awaiting the birth of Jesus.
A decorated Christmas tree with Christian symbols called Crismons, some more than 50 years old, highlights the seasonal decor. The sanctuary features a stained-glass window, circa 1928, of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He said he hoped the carol sing would attract interest because it’s an event that focuses on the reason for the season.
After the carol sing, hot chocolate, cider and Christmas cookies will be served.
A free-will offering will be received and will go to the Liberty Presents Series. Loch said the project is in the works to present topics such as Alzheimer’s disease in a panel discussion.
He said his hope is that events such as the carol sing and Liberty Presents Series generate interest in the community and among absent church members.