From the Christmas, 2011 audience and choir members
- From an audience member who heard us several times:
“It is amazing what hearing the Christmas Cantata ‘Festival of Lights’ (for the first time) has done for me. Life – alive, alive ohh!
Thank you to all of you for your supreme efforts to honor our Christ of the Cross – our Lord Jesus.
… I prayed for … all of you to overcome obstacles. And what a wonderful record over the years for all of you.”
- From ‘S.J.’:
“I want to thank you and the choir for the wonderful concert last night at the Dayton First Baptist Church. I was enthralled with it all — the singing and the signing and the hand bells and the pianist and the band — all so wonderful. And you do a superb job of organizing and leading it all. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end.”
- We remain inspired & humbled by the words of trombonist Eric:
“I’m still trying to come down from that awesome thing we were a part of tonight. Warm milk to help me sleep, and I randomly opened the scriptures to Exodus and found God’s instructions to Moses on building the ark of the covenant and such. The particular verses my eye fell on were Ex 25: 31-40. (31a) “You shall make a lampstand of pure beaten gold.” (37) “You shall then make seven lamps for it and so set up the lamps that they shed their light on the space in front of the lampstand.” (39) “Use a talent of pure gold for the lampstand and all its appurtenances.”
Wow. Now I realized why I was reading these detailed instructions about the lampstand. We’re doing the Festival of Lights, and here, we are the lampstand, shedding God’s light on the congregation. Better still, we have used a talent of pure gold in fashioning it. What Cantata Choir brings to the table is everything they have, freely given. That’s pure gold to me.”
- From lead accompanist, ‘D.R.’:
“About 12 years ago when I came on stage at Carnegie Hall to perform with the New England Symphony (Handel’s Messiah) I thought how can it get any better than this? Today it occurred to me when [my husband] met me downtown for lunch – it did. The venue is different (Carnegie Hall swallows the vocalists’ vowels) but I got tears in my eyes each night hearing [David’s] solo on “Never Ending Joy.” The music kept me going during a very tough season.”
- Other anonymous testimonials
- … an inmate who brought friends to hear us who don’t normally darken the chapel’s doorway!
- … the inmate who sang with us & considered it a wonderful gift to himself!
- … the lady who walked all over McMinnville to be at every local appearance, plus got a ride to Dayton … brought a non-believer to see & hear … who had tears running down her cheeks!
- … our hostess in Sheridan who was excited because the people who’d told her time & again they’d see her at church … finally did while we were there!
- From ‘M.R.’:
“… the Concert in St. James — last night. It was the best yet!!!! People are still talking today. Many Thanks to all. I hope you were able to meet the goal for Y-CAP. Merry Christmas.”
- From retired pastor “R.S.” who hears & sees us every season:
“Advent — Christmas — Light —
Shine Anew — worship with vision — thanks to your ministry — your spirit — touching us once again. THANK YOU — a marvelous gift! You combined a pulse of tempo with a passion for the proclamation of Gospel good news with the ‘Festival of Lights’ — wondrous! We love your singers — instrumentalists — and children to a keyboard person as Marthadina — we see the future — a tribute to your vision! The Hallelujah Carols were a smörgåsbord of wonder / embrace of emotions — joy — you assemble as a group — as you sing — pray — your souls of faith — Even when you are in a difficult (as in small — tree big — St. John’s) space — no problem — WONDROUS. Our best of life and love to you, sharing faith — faith — faith — faith.”
- “Let us look forward to our ‘tiny flame’ possibly being the ‘presence of light’ someone out there needs!
by Kent Nerburn from “Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.”
“We are not saints; we are not heroes. Our lives are lived in the quiet corners of the ordinary. We build tiny hearth fires, sometimes barely strong enough to give off warmth. But to the person lost in the darkness, our tiny flame may be the road to safety, the path to salvation.
It is not given to us to know who is lost in the darkness that surrounds us or even if our light is seen. We can only know that against even the smallest of lights, darkness cannot stand. A sailor lost at sea can be guided home by a single candle. A person lost in a wood can be led to safety by a flickering flame. It is not an issue of quality or intensity or purity. It is simply an issue of the presence of light.”