It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch, but you have been an ongoing inspiration for our ministry in Denmark.
I’m writing to tell you that our church children’s group at St Clement’s in Randers, Denmark, are performing our Easter Musical (to music by your good self) this coming Palm Sunday.
The music is Jerusalem Joy, as scored, but with fewer verses being sung to keep the dramatisation down to an hour in all. The whole performance will be in Danish.
Since we met all those years ago in Birmingham, we have developed our own musicals, including writing our own Christmas Musical, updating the stories of Peter and of Saul/Paul to the present day, and dramatising The Little Prince and the first of the Narnia Chronicles. We’re never quite sure from year to year where the Spirit will take us – this year it’s the music from Jerusalem Joy!
Best wishes to you and Mary!
Edward and Hanna
The next email comes from New York, following their request to arrange Jerusalem Joy in a hip hop style:
A personal testimony!
In 1987 I became the pastor of St. Mark's Brooklyn, a United Methodist Church in Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY and at that time the church was on the "chopping block". We had 30 - 40 regular worshippers. We started growing slowly and in the summer of 1988 we held Vacation Bible School followed by a Summer Day Camp. The Sunday school began growing from the summer camp and with about forty (40) children we decided to stage Jerusalem Joy.
The church seats 500 (not including the balcony) and on the Palm Sunday of 1989 we had over 500 persons, mainly the families of the children, in attendance. The performance challenged the Chancel Choir who was also preparing for "EasterSong" by Peterson. The members expressed concern that "Jerusalem Joy" would have upstaged them. "EasterSong" was also a hit and the church kept on growing steadily thereafter.
When I left there in 1998 the chancel choir was 40 members strong, the Youth Ministry had over 60 youths (mainly growing up from the Jerusalem Joy cast), a new Allen Organ (US$60,000)was purchased (1996) and the congregation has remained a strong one, with an average attendance of 350 and a membership of over 500 persons.
I wish to share some of the credit for all that with Roger.
Again, thanks for your speedy reply and your encouraging words.
With every good wish!
This final email arrived recently from Grenada in the Caribbean:
Thank you; Thank you; Thank you. Yes, please add me to your mailing list.
We are delighted to perform Jerusalem Joy and will definitely send you a copy. The choir is small with 17 members - most of them female. Already we are talking about From Pharaoh to Freedom.
Our organist, Dona Lander purchased the CD with music and we have been practicing since December 2013! The performance is strictly to raise funds for our organ and church which were destroyed in hurricane Ivan 2004. The performance is on Easter Sunday and Monday at Grenville, a smaller Methodist congregation.
Many who have witnessed the practice remark on how 'touching & moving' the songs are and our director - Chris DeRiggs - said it is an honour to be part of this performance. So the message is moving!
Karen A Charles
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