Wesley Uniting Church will host ‘Uniting in Song’ on Sunday 25 June, which will see the choirs from Wesley and Brunswick Uniting Church join together for a liturgical music celebration. They will sing familiar classical hymns that honour the musical heritage of the UCA as well as more contemporary tunes.
The afternoon promises to be an intercultural affair with the choirs from Gospel Hall Chinese Church and Brunswick Uniting Church Indonesian congregation also participating.
Natalie Sims is part of the music team at Brunswick Uniting Church and one of the organisers of the event.
“We wanted to do something that would celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the Uniting Church in a fun way,” Ms Sims said.
“So we decided we would get a big bunch of people to sing older hymns and newer songs and as big a range of church music as we can fit into one afternoon.”
The idea of having an afternoon of singing to celebrate the UCA’s 40th anniversary was initiated by Wesley Uniting Church minister Rev Alistair Macrae. He approached Brunswick Uniting Church to see if they would be interested in collaborating.
The Brunswick music ministry team has a number of songwriters who compiled 30 original songs into a book called Tune In!. Ms Sims also edits the Singing from the Lectionary website which shares weekly songs, hymns and music suggestions for worship based on the Revised Common Lectionary.
“I think Al Macrae was keen to involve us because of our interest in church music,” Ms Sims said.
“Our congregation sings a big range of music from traditional hymns through to contemporary stuff. But we don’t have an organ in our church like Wesley, so it’ll be nice to pull together all the different styles.”
The famous pipe organ at Wesley was the first of its kind in Melbourne. It was built in England and arrived in Melbourne in 1842, before it moved to the church in 1858.
Ms Sims believes singing is a way of bringing people together and encourages congregation members throughout the synod to join in the festivities.
“The main goal with the afternoon is that people have a lot of fun singing together,” Ms Sims said.
“While there will be plenty of songs there that people will know, there will also be new songs that people can learn and take home with them and continue singing.
“We’re hoping to fill the whole church with people singing!”
Uniting In Song takes place at Wesley Uniting Church 148 Lonsdale St on Sunday 25 June from 2-5pm. Refreshments are included.