Rafters Shake with Musical Worship

A first-ever musical event shook the rafters at Cedar Campus for four days, June 22-26. It was titled “Great God of Wonders,” and the hymn by that name became the theme song for the conference, which was planned as “a celebration of God’s majesty and wonder through hymns and Scripture.”

Over a hundred adults and children from eighteen states (coast to coast and border to border) and Canada gathered in the Old Mill Point meeting house and praised the Lord in song. Shirley Morrison and Judy Chadwick provided accompaniment on the new grand piano that was recently purchased.

Under the experienced direction of Bernie Smith (who led the singing at Urbanas 1970 through 1987) and Keith Hunt (long-time director of Cedar Campus), the group sang from both the original Hymns and Hymns II. At times the singing was augmented by a four-piece orchestra consisting of trombone, bassoon, flute, and violin.

The gathering was jointly sponsored by the InterVarsity Hymn Society and Cedar Campus.

Dr. Walter Kaiser (Old Testament scholar and frequent speaker at Cedar Campus over the years) gave daily Bible expositions, and often the theme was picked up in the hymns that followed his teaching.

Also included in the program were optional seminars and discussions on topics, such as “Keeping the Sabbath,” “Creation Care,” and “Hosting Local Hymn Singing” as well as a Hymn Society brainstorming session.

The camp packed out the Old Mill Point site, with some people having to be housed offsite. Daily prayer for IFES was led by Dave (Sally) Ivaska each morning. Daily quiet time materials based on Scripture and hymns were written by Rusty Hunt. One of the highlights was an antiphonal singing event at the beach as the sun set over the bay (photo below).

The program was envisioned and put together by a planning group of sixteen members of the IV Hymn Society including several musicians.

The group was privileged to have with them Yvonne Woods, widow of C. Stacey Woods (the first General Secretary of InterVarsity/USA and of IFES), and Betty Alexander, widow of John Alexander, “Dr. A” (President of InterVarsity/USA 1965-1981).

Plans were made by the InterVarsity Hymn Society to continue seeking ways to enjoy and encourage hymn singing. For more information about this group, contact the acting secretary, Mark Malan.

Enthusiasm was so high that another Hymns & Exposition Conference is planned for 2008. Information will be available as soon as dates are set at www.cedarcampus.org or www.intervarsity.org/alumni.

antiphonal singing