June 1, 1995 in Washington Voices

Eight Church Choirs Will Join For Program

Ward Sanderson Correspondent

A group of about 300 voices from eight different churches will gather to show that despite their differences, their mission is the same.

“God With Us - A Worship Experience” will be Friday and Sunday at Fourth Memorial Church, 2000 N. Standard.

“A year ago, we did this with six churches and it was a huge success,” said Steve Yoell, music minister at Garland Avenue Alliance Church. “Nobody cared what denomination you were. All people cared about is that you loved God.”

Last year’s event was packed, with 1,200 people showing up the first night and 1,600 the next.

This year, organizers have added a third performance because of the event’s success last time around.

“We underestimated the number of people just wanting to come last year and ended up turning all kinds of people away,” said Mike Dwyer, music director at First Assembly of God, 828 W. Indiana.

The reason for the turnout? Yoell said people are tired of seeing churches divided.

“Some people feel more comfortable in a liturgical setting. Some feel more comfortable in a charismatic setting,” he said.

“That’s OK. God isn’t worried about style.”

Yoell said plans for an ecumenical choir event were brewing for about three years. After a few music ministers and choir directors in Spokane got together and shared their ideas, they decided to go ahead and make it happen.

“We wanted to do something together to show people we weren’t in competition with one another,” he said.

Performing this year are the combined choirs of First Assembly of God, First Church of the Nazarene, Fourth Memorial, Garland Avenue Alliance, Manito Presbyterian, Northview Bible, Plymouth Congregational and Valley Fourth Memorial churches. The choir will perform a selection of modern choruses and traditional classics, accompanied by a 35-40 piece orchestra.

Some parts of the presentation will be narrated, too.

Narrators will be KREM-2 news anchor Nadine Woodward and former KTSL radio personality H. Marshall Thompson.

When First Assembly’s Dwyer spoke to Woodward about doing the event, she jumped at the chance.

“I’ve done March for Jesus three years in a row, but I missed ‘God With Us’ last year,” Woodward said. “Anytime I can share or let people know I have a strong faith, I’m glad to do it.”

Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended.

For tickets, call any participating church, including Garland Avenue Alliance at 327-7700.

Episcopal classes

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2404 N. Howard, is offering a fourweek basic religion course in the fundamentals of Episcopalianism. The classes are free and open to the public, and there’s no commitment.

Classes are held Thursdays from 7-9 p.m.

For more information, call the Rev. Thomas Murphy at 325-5252.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email