“AND can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood … ”
These and other words of Charles Wesley reverberated from the sanctuary of Paya Lebar Methodist Church when approximately one thousand voices joined to praise God on May 25, the last night of Aldersgate Convention 2002. The Combined Methodist Orchestra’s postlude rendition of “And Can it Be” was received by a standing ovation.
Thirteen Charles Wesley hymns were sung, including two set to Chinese music by Singaporean Lim Swee Hong. Other Wesley hymn texts were recited as Christian poetry, prayers and litany.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon reminded everyone that Methodists are known as a singing people.
The congregation singing was supported and augmented by the Orchestra along with the Festival Choir and Children’s Choir, groups consisting of volunteers from Methodist churches across Singapore who came together just for this purpose.
The Wesleyan Hymn Festival was an event to praise God as well as a time to appreciate the arts in ministry. Charles Wesley wrote more than 9,000 poems, both sacred and secular. Many are published as hymns and are recognised by all leading Christian denominations for their sacred value.
Leading the musicians were Ms Mary Gan, Principal of the Methodist School of Music, and Mr Jusuf Kam, Pastoral Team member for music and worship at Wesley Methodist Church. Dr Evelyn Lim was the organist.
The Rev George Martzen is Minister Attached to the Bishop’s Office at The Methodist Church in Singapore.
*The Combined Methodist Orchestra and Festival Choir leading the congregation in the opening hymn, “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing”. — Methodist Message picture by CHIA PAK YUEN.