Sing a joyful song!


By Lorrie Dyer

Rivers United Church is one of a very few remaining small rural churches that is fortunate to have a choir actively participate in regular church services. Dedicated choir leader Shirley Russell has directed the choir since Ina Hyndman retired from the position in 1984. In 2000 Dianne Kowalchuk became the choir’s accompanist, as well as the church organist.

The choir practises on Thursday evenings from 7-8 p.m., starting in early September and breaking for the summer in late May. A wide variety of anthems are rehearsed and performed. Most often the music is arranged in four-part harmony: soprano and alto women’s voices and tenor and bass men’s voices. The choir usually performs for Sunday services and on occasion, a solo, trio, quartet or instrumental group provides the congregation with a meaningful musical message. As well, the choir is frequently asked to lead hymns for funeral services.

Rose Madder was a faithful members of Rivers United Church choir for more than 35 years. In the spring of 2011 she graciously donated 25 new gowns to the choir. She passed away in September 2011, one month shy of her 98th birthday. A very fitting and emotional dedication of the gowns took place at Rose’s memorial service. Choir members are reminded of Rose and her kindness, generosity and unwavering faith every time they wear the gowns.

The choir is currently encouraging new members to join. One just needs to show up at the church on Thursday evenings (beginning Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.) to take part in the fun!

Other upcoming events at Rivers United include Sunday school (starting Sept. 14), a board meeting on Sept. 16, the annual thrift sale Sept. 25-27, a Joint Needs Assessment Committee visioning workshop on Oct. 4 and our fall supper on Oct. 19.

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. — William P. Merrill