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Information included in this issue
Carols for the Choir
Community Service
Alumni Corner
Gospel Choir
Touring Choir
Featured Message

Maranatha is a bond that brings us all together in ministry and song.  Please take time to see how Maranatha Music Ministries continues to spread the Message into the local Fredericksburg Community and beyond.  Follow us on Facebook and via our web-site at
www.maranathanotes.org.
 
Upcoming Events
2G Sings during Candlelight Tour
December 12, 2014
Time TBD (Watch Maranatha Music Ministries Facebook for more details)

Community Dinner (all are welcome)

5:00  PM December  2014
1915 Charles Street

MGC -- 2015 Rehearsals begin
2:00 PM January 11,  2015
1915 Charles Street


May The Lord Bless You and Keep You...
November 2014
 
Dear Jim,

Carols for The Choir - Year End Giving 2014

   

One of my favorite Maranatha Memories is Christmas Caroling with the choir. I remember gathering at Chris Ryder's house and practicing for a few minutes before bundling up and embarking on a neighborhood walk. I don't think most folks are used to seeing strangers (especially teenagers) come to their front doors simply to wish them a Merry Christmas and spread some holiday cheer. From today's perspective, caroling is likely viewed as an old-fashioned activity, harkening back to a simpler time where everyone knew their neighbors and weren't afraid to knock on random doors. But the response we got was always so positive and sincere that it never felt old fashioned.   It was wishing God's Blessings and Peace on our community - sharing His Joy and Hope. People gratefully opened their doors, passed out Christmas cookies, and came out in their pajamas to listen as we sang holiday favorites. Over and over again in my years in the choir I was privileged to be a part of musical experiences where God anointed us, making our efforts much more significant and meaningful than we ever could have achieved on our own. Christmas Caroling was always one of those moments - you would go into the evening thinking that you were just singing a few songs and end the night realizing that God had other plans.

Maranatha Choir Members, Alumni, Family and Friends - as you gather together to celebrate the holiday season we invite you to remember your time with the Maranatha Family - Share your favorite memory or blessing and a short Christmas Carol in a one-minute video on Facebook (make sure to like and tag the Maranatha Music Ministries facebook page, too) and challenge your friends to do the same. Then go to http://www.maranathachoirs.org/giving.html to make a donation to Maranatha Music Ministries or send a gift in honor of someone special. Every generous gift helps Maranatha continue to make an impact for Christ not only in the lives of those who hear their music, but in those who have the opportunity to sing and serve. Merry Christmas and May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.    


Sincerely, Julie Burton Perry
Serving the Community--Blessing for all ages...

By Velvet Payne 

At the beginning of this year many members from our choirs and the Board started talking about the need to expand our ministry to go beyond just touching those lives and hearts at our concerts to getting involved directly in helping our community. We were looking for ways to start giving back and were amazingly blessed when we received a call from Gospel Choir member and Micah Ecumenical Ministries Servant Leader of Programs, Lori Yelverton, asking us if we would like to take part in serving a Community Dinner.

These dinners are meant to help those in the area that have food insecurities, or are homeless and are distributed at different locations most days of the week. We of course jumped at this opportunity! What better way to use our building and our ministry than to help serve those in need? Accepting was the easy part, but then began the planning part and that came with a bit of trepidation. Would we be able to handle a large group of people, would we have enough volunteers to help, most importantly, what would we dish up to eat? Pizza was the answer, we ended up with more than enough volunteers and with God's help, we were able to manage the flow of people and serve everyone with food to spare. We are now coming up on serving for our eighth month and it never ceases to amaze me that we always have more than enough food and people to assist!

Each of the choirs and the Board take turns planning the meals and securing enough people to be on site to provide dinners to 80 plus people. Currently the members and families of our Second Generation Choir (4th - 8th graders) are preparing and serving dinners through December. It is really awe inspiring to watch these young people embrace giving to those in need. They really enjoy being of service and knowing that their kindness is making a difference in someone's life, even if they don't yet realize the difference it is making in their own life.

Our Community Dinner takes place on the first Tuesday of the month and we open our building to Shiloh Baptist Church from King George, Virginia to provide dinner on the third Tuesday of the month. If you would like take part by helping with our dinner, please contact me at vapayne@yahoo.com. The blessings that you give and receive will make you feel good - I promise!

Touring Choir Building Lifelong Friendships...

By Chalee Mullen Carmichael 

Could you ever imagine sleeping, eating, reading, playing spades, cutting hair, doing makeup, and worshiping all on a bus for days and days? That's what we did when we left on a Saturday morning in July and traveled for nine days on a charter bus with other youth. Maranatha Tour was something that we looked forward to all year. Saturday after Saturday and also every Tuesday night we met at Fredericksburg Baptist to practice the music and perfect the drama. You would think after spending so much time together that we wouldn't be so excited about spending so many days together in a small area, but we were. Yes, at times it could get a little crazy and you felt like if you just had a few minutes of peace and quiet things would be better, but somehow you worked through it. You learned a lot about friends you already had and made new friends that would truly last a lifetime. These people you sat on the bus with, stood beside on risers, ate tuna "with" or "without" and PB& J sandwiches with, and took communion and prayed with were your family for nine days. A family that was so different from the one you left in Fredericksburg, but just as special and important to you. The time we spent together sharing our love for Christ through music and sharing the deepest fears and celebrations of our lives was so powerful and fulfilling. It was a time that none of us wished would end. Eventually that "home away from home" on wheels came back to Fredericksburg and we shared one last concert and felt God's presence once more in our hearts and saw his love through the eyes of our audience. We went our separate ways, but never forgot the memories we shared together and looked forward to getting the gang back together again.

Gospel Choir CD Release Party and Fellowship

by Jim McGlone

 

On October 26, MGC had a CD release event but not a "CD Release" like what you are probably  thinking.  If you are thinking that MGC has created a CD and a record company released the CD to the public on October 26 then you are only partially correct.  MGC did create a CD, but it's a learning CD of the music for the 2015 and it was released to choir members only.  

The CDs are an important learning tool for the MGC members since the choir only rehearses about once a month.  Most of the learning of the music is done at home or in a car.  This year the choir decided to make an "event" out of the usual process of handing out the CDs.  Current and prospective members were invited to the Maranatha Building for a potluck meal with grilled hot dogs and sausages. During the time of eating and socializing, members could sign out a learning CD and get the new music for the 2015 season, and new members could sign up and do the same.   A drawing was held with everyone who brought a prospective member and a prize gift card was handed out to a lucky winner.   Darla Burton the organizer of the CD release event said, "It seemed like the natural thing to do in taking a simple boring task of handing out music and turning into an event with plenty of food and socializing".

MGC starts rehearsing for its eighth season in January for the 2015 season, so its not too late join for next year.  MGC is headed to the Roanoke area in March for a choir retreat and performance at a Roanoke church. If you think you may be interested in singing in the choir, contact MGC President Velvet Payne for more info (VAPayne@yahoo.com) or just stop in at their first rehearsal on January 11, at 2pm at the Maranatha Building at at 1915 Charles Street in Fredericksburg.  Also if you want to book the choir at your church or event contact Velvet.

The Maranatha Gospel Choir (MGC) is an adult interdenominational choir from the Fredericksburg, VA region in its eighth year of existence.  MGC has over 50 members and has members from 22 different churches in the greater Fredericksburg area.  MGC shares the message of Christ through different styles of Gospel music by leading worship in a variety of venues.

 
Touring Choir Shares More than Music...

By Rodney Womack 

A couple years ago, the more senior members of the touring choir approached me. They wanted to talk about tour and how they felt the choir was changing. There was a noticeable decline in choir membership and the feeling that some of the younger members had lost the vision of MTC. These choir leaders wanted to expand the roll of the choir to include service work.

In years past, the choir has been on the road most of the days they were performing, but recently the way tours have been set up, has allowed us to stay in the same area for a couple days. One of those locations is Huntsville, Alabama.

Through the gracious hosting of Cathy Wissel, we have been able to assist two local organizations. The Manna House in Huntsville and the newest place we worked this year is Asbury Community Thrift Store.

The Manna House is a Food Distribution Center, but also provides limited clothes, diapers, baby formula and even pet food. Manna House Director Fran Fluhler first met MTC in 2012 during our first tour through the area. Though the Manna House is sponsored by local churches and businesses, it is always in need of volunteers. We arrived in the morning and split up the choir to work in different areas of the building. Some sorted incoming food items, some rearranged staged items, others began making sandwiches for the afternoon patrons. There is always plenty to do and the added help is greatly appreciated. We take a lunch break and then get back to work in preparation for the 4:00pm opening. The Manna House is only open for 3 hours, three days a week and the line starts to form hours prior to the opening. Once the doors are open, it is non-stop serving on the line, offering food in grocery store fashion to the people who come through with their grocery bags. Every once in a while you can hear a group of choir members, who happen to be working together, break out in song. The time goes by quickly but before we leave, we always gather together and sing the MTC benediction at the insistence of Fran.

This year was our first time working at Asbury Community Thrift Store (ACTS), just down the road from Huntsville in Madison, Alabama. In like fashion, the choir is divided up into smaller groups. Some weeded around the building. Others received donations as they arrived, loaded trucks, moved merchandise to the store periodically, but most sorted through the massive donations on the warehouse floor, putting them in order for easier retrieval when the store needed the merchandise. Ironically, and unknown to either of us at the time, the manager of the store, Ann Pospicil, used to live in and has family in the Fredericksburg area.

Ann insisted we sing a few songs right in the front of the store prior to our leaving. It ended up being a mini a capella concert with the patrons understandably moved.

As with everything the choir does, these acts of service impact the members of the choir more than it does the people we serve. It is wonderful to see how a desire of a few mature choir members has developed into a great service blessing to others.

2014 Maranatha by the Numbers

10 States Visited

34 Concerts Performed

36 Churches Represented

85 Choir Members

112 People Served at our Community Dinners

Thousands in attendance at our concerts and programs!

Consider giving one of these amounts in honor of the work the Maranatha Organization is doing in the Fredericksburg Region and the lives being touched for Christ.


Closing
Want to share your special memories of your time in one, two or all three of the choirs--We'd love to hear from you!
 
Contact Information
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