Remember the event I talked about in It’s Already Christmas At Luther Part 2? Well, here it is! It’s been two months since I last sang with the Gospel Choir team—and two Sundays ago we had our annual Gospel Sunday worship of the year hosted by Luther College Ministries in the Center for Faith and Life. Gospel Sunday is an event where the Gospel Choir and Cathedral Choir come together with a band in worship to sing praises to the Lord, modern gospel, hymns, and even praises from Africa. Gospel Sunday this year was celebrated in accordance with Black History Month.
The Gospel Choir actually had to sing the Sunday before Gospel Sunday. It was great to be able to see some old faces again. We had a chance to get back in the groove of gospel singing which helped us prepare ourselves for our next big worship performance.
We started practice a day before the event. This time our choir was accompanied by a contemporary band from South Africa! Practice was conducted by Brandon and Sam in the Jenson-Noble’s choir room. We sang a collection of all kinds of beautiful gospel music such as "Total Praise", "This Means War", and a different version of "Kumbaya" led by our very own preacher for Gospel Sunday—Dr. Alisha Jones! Practice was enjoyable as usual and it was especially fun that Saturday as we were joined by people from all walks of life in the Decorah community.
On Sunday, everyone came all dressed up and we rehearsed one last time before worship started. Cathedral Choir joined us for the rehearsal as we colloaborated with them on some of the songs. It wasn’t like a performance at all because our songs were spread throughout the agenda for the Sunday—giving us a little break before we start singing more songs. Dr. Alisha Jones, who was the preacher that day, was giving her sermon called “Hard Lemonade." Her testimonies about the black community were profoundly inspiring. I especially liked her testimony on the invisability of the society in which a Muslim widow shined shoes for a living, but nobody noticed her business because of her inferior status within the community. Jones also talked about some of the ways African Americans avoid the stigma they’re receiving—such as walking with a poodle or whistling to Baroque music in order to save themsevles from the disheartening negative stereotypes. Having studied this course during in J-Term, I found the sermon to be an eye-opening topic for Black History Month at Luther.
Worship at the end was indeed very powerful. The Cathedral Choir and the Gospel Choir came in beautiful harmony to worship the Lord with beautiful praises. I enjoyed myself so much as we danced freely to the beat in the midst of the worhship service. It was my first great performance here in Luther—and so far the best music experience I’ve had on campus.