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Aldersgate Hymn Festival: Proclaiming the Gospel in song

PLANS ARE UNDERWAY to prepare for the Aldersgate Hymn Festival, an iconic event in our annual celebration of the Aldersgate Convention.

In line with the convention’s theme of “Go and Tell: Proclaiming the Gospel Today,” the Methodist School of Music (MSM) has started to plan for the Hymn Festival, to be held on Friday, May 20, 2011 from 7.45 pm to 9.45 pm at Toa Payoh Methodist Church (new sanctuary).

The Hymn Festival will kick-start Aldersgate Convention 2011, which will be held from May 20 to 23 at the newly-rebuilt Toa Payoh Methodist Church. is year’s speaker will be the Rev Dr Eddie Fox, World Director of Evangelism of the World Methodist Council.

A major event this year will be the Evangelistic Rally to be held on Saturday, May 21, starting at 5 pm. The Rev Dr Fox will address the rally with the topic “Christ Jesus – God’s Yes”.

The other events are:

• The Aldersgate anksgiving Service on Sunday, May 22, from 5 pm to 7 pm. The Rev Dr Fox’s address is entitled “Ambassadors of the Good News”.

• The Aldersgate Lecture on Monday, May 23, starting at 7.45 pm. The Rev Dr Fox will talk about “ The Wesleyan Way of Revival”.

• There will also be a Pastors’ Fellowship on the morning of May 23.

The Aldersgate Hymn Festival is a celebration of the Christian faith through congregational song.

For Methodists, who are endowed with a rich hymn legacy, particularly from the works of the Wesley brothers (John 1703-1791) and (Charles 1707-1788), the observance of Aldersgate is an occasion to bring together all singing Methodists “to invoke and praise God with a more vehement and ardent zeal” (John Calvin).

Through the centuries, hymn-singing has been an integral part of the Christian’s worship experience. Through hymn-singing the Christian expresses his feelings and ideas of the Creator and His works. The Christian is bonded in closer fellowship with other believers. Besides, hymns are a rich source of the fundamental doctrine and theology of the Christian faith. is year’s Aldersgate Hymn Festival

will be slightly different in that it will encourage a fuller participation from the lay worshippers. e order of worship will include greater lay participation, with the ordinary lay member leading in the service.

Hymn-singing will be augmented by the use of descants, varied harmonic accompaniments and hymn anthems.

Arrangements are being made to employ a variety of instrumental accompaniments, including strings, woodwinds and brass, to add interest.

For the congregation, a part of the service will be set aside for silent
meditation, and personal commitment for a deeper walk in the Christian’s journey.

To ensure a church-wide participation, a 100-voice festival choir is being formed with choristers from all Methodist Churches. e MSM is again inviting all choir members to approach their pastors or choir directors to sign up for this mass festival choir.